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Just Sayin’: VA benefits helped my father in his final days

Readers weigh in.

Army Cpl. Harry Wirth in 1952. He served

Army Cpl. Harry Wirth in 1952. He served during the Korean War. Photo Credit: From Mary Sue Wirth

I want to share my experience, especially for veterans who are unaware of what’s available to them from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Last year, I took my dad, Harry Wirth, a Korean War veteran, to a private audiologist. He needed a hearing aid, and the audiologist told us he would be eligible for help from the VA.

In his mid-80s, he was fragile and weak. After completing paperwork, we visited a VA nurse practitioner in Riverhead who put Dad on home care. We had a team assigned to us, including a case manager, dietitian, social worker, nurse practitioner and physical therapist.

He was eligible for a home aide eight hours a week. My dad had advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was on oxygen 24/7. The VA provided a hospital bed, a wheelchair, a walker with a seat, ramps, an elevated potty seat and bathroom handrails. It also provided all medications.

His vital signs were called to the VA daily. If anything was abnormal, he got a call from a nurse.

Sadly, my dad passed away April 11 at 86. He would have turned 87 on Saturday.

I was unaware what incredible service was provided by the VA. We were so thankful for its assistance, yet people there thanked my dad for his service. I will always be grateful for their care and concern.

Mary Sue Wirth,Manorville

Isles’ golf outing shouldn’t be on 9/11

The New York Islanders Children’s Foundation has scheduled its annual golf outing with players for Sept. 11. Yes, Sept. 11.

I understand the concept of moving on from past events, but some are so horrific, and so much a part of who we are, that they require special commemoration. I believe 9/11 was such an event. Nearly 500 Long Islanders were lost that day. A golf outing with Islanders players is not a proper commemoration.

The hockey team has fought to remain on Long Island, to remain Long Island’s team. With that comes a responsibility to the community to recognize the tremendous impact of that day on all of us who lost relatives, friends, neighbors. As time passes, many 9/11 organizations have tried to make Sept. 11 a day of service. The Islanders should encourage their players to participate in a such a day of service, not playing golf with season ticket-holders like me and corporate boosters.

I spoke to the head of community relations, who runs the outing, but got nowhere. So I am asking all who feel the way I do to call or write to express how you feel about the scheduling. Her phone number and email address are on the team website.

Marc Wieman,Rockville Centre

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