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

Army Cpl. Harry Wirth in 1952. He served

Army Cpl. Harry Wirth in 1952. He served during the Korean War. 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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