Falling on Wednesday next week, November 11th is an historic day around the globe as it marks the armistice between the Allied nations and Germany that officially ended World War I. Twenty years later, Armistice Day was declared a federal holiday in the U.S. November 11th took on added significance after WWII when communities around the country held celebrations honoring soldiers. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation officially changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in the U.S., designating it to honor those who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces.
To those of you who are veterans, please accept the heartfelt gratitude all of us at Amada Senior Care have for the sacrifices you and your family have made. We sincerely thank you for all that you have done to protect our personal freedoms and nation’s safety. To others reading this, we invite you to celebrate this holiday by extending thanks to the approximately 18.8 million living veterans in the United States.
At Amada Senior Care, we are honored to be in the position to care for those who have given so much. Our mission of enriching lives means we provide exceptional care that enables clients, who include aging veterans, to live safely at home and maintain their independence. Our commitment extends to actively hiring veterans and military spouses as an inducted member of the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership. Many Amada franchise owners and employees were motivated to work in senior healthcare because of a loved one who served. We continue to be inspired by the courage and commitment of veterans under our care. Here are just a few of their stories:
“Helping people has always been my passion, especially working with our veterans,” says Glen Schecter of Amada Ventura County. “My dad was a WWII veteran and worked as a veteran’s advocate for more than 30 years. Thanks to his influence, helping veterans and seniors has been part of my life both personally and in business.”
Glen’s dad, Mort Schecter, was a tail gunner during the war, serving in the Army Air Corps from 1942-45. According to this article, he flew 35 combat missions in France and Germany aboard a B-24 Liberator.
As a member of Jewish War Veterans and the American Legion, Mr. Schecter would spend 25 years as a volunteer three times each week at the Sepulveda Veterans Ambulatory Care Center. On Nov. 3, 2012 at the age of 89, he received the Veteran of the Year Award from the County of Los Angeles Department of Military and Veterans Affairs during a ceremony at the Rose Bowl.
“I asked my dad ‘Why did you pick that position?’” Glen said. “He told me jokingly, ‘So I can go back and take a nap when I needed to.’”
Mort Schecter also was awarded the Legion of Honour medal (the highest decoration bestowed in France) that was presented personally by the Counsul General of France. Mr. Schecter passed away at age 93 in 2016, having helped hundreds of veterans.
Glen Schecter, VP of Client Relations
Amada Senior Care of Ventura County (CA)
“John told me of the difficulties he had to deal with caring for the men he led and protecting them with his own body,” said Bob Schricker of Amada Nashville about his client (and now close friend) John Tucker. “He said that the way he deals with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is that he had to do something that was bigger than him after he returned from Vietnam. He felt he would have been a suicide statistic like many other veterans if it weren’t for his grandmother’s earlier guidance as he was growing up. It is an honor to help John.”
“I am a Vietnam veteran as well and we developed a friendship right away,” added Bob, who served as an Army drill instructor. John is confined to a wheelchair due to arthritic knees, and Bob was able to obtain medical equipment from the VA to assist with his mobility around his home. Bob installed a carpet runner so that he could wheel about easier. Bob also was successful in arranging local medical care for John who, although he can drive, was having difficulty making the long drive to the Nashville VA Medical Center.
John, who will soon be 77, has gained his upper body strength back since his hospitalization two years ago. He is featured on the Wall of Heroes at the Veterans Clinic in Gallatin. About a year ago, John and Bob were guests on “PTSD Warrior Stories,” a YouTube series by veteran and country singer Chris Turner.
“We are honored to serve this patriot,” said Kevin Fehr, owner of Amada Nashville and founder of CommuniServe, a nonprofit that raises funds to help pay for services for veterans.
Kevin Fehr, Owner, and Bob Schricker, Caregiver and Director of Community Relations
Amada Senior Care of Nashville
“At Amada Senior Care of WV, we are so honored to have many veterans under our care. THREE of our clients are 99-year-old WWII veterans! Each of these veterans had outstanding military careers and it has been so enlightening to hear their stories of their heroic service.
Mr. Freeland served in the Marine Corps and was a member of the Edson Raiders from 1940-44. This was a special unit for amphibious light infantry operations, typically landing in rubber boats and operating behind the lines. Mr. Freeland was a platoon leader who was present at the Battle of Iwo Jima. He will turn 100 in September and is still healthy enough to live at home alone with just a little help from the VA and Amada Senior Care.
We started service earlier this year with Mr. Dumont on his 99th birthday! He served in the Navy Air Corps from 1938 to 1942. After his military service, he went on to a long career with Union Carbide and is still a highly active member of the Putnam County community. He was flooded with calls on his birthday and continues to have many caring visitors call and stop by to check on him.”
Kari Peyatte, Owner
Amada Senior Care of West Virginia
Me and my dad, Sgt. Maj. Jose Luis Flores-Diaz
at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
Seeing my dad in his Marine uniform when I was growing up was a larger than life experience – no matter if he wore his camouflage uniform, service uniform or blue dress uniform. It wasn’t until I was about 12 years old and stumbled across a letter that I realized the depth of his commitment to his country. The letter was from my cousin’s father writing about how much he loved visiting our family. My father and my uncle both served in Vietnam. My father was able to return, my uncle was not. Still, I didn’t truly understand what that meant and the sacrifices it represented until I was in my 30s and accompanied my dad to his first and only Vietnam vets reunion. He never talked about the war, except for answering a couple of my direct questions. I learned so much more about his experiences from the men he served with. There are no words to describe the humility, pride, sorrow, and other emotions you feel upon hearing what our service men and service women have gone through because their country asked them to.
Michelle Flores, Marketing and Franchise Support Specialist
Amada Senior Care Corp.
Ways to Honor Our Veterans
Treasure your independence, the independence of others and sacrifices made by our veterans. Here are easy ways to do that:
- Take Time to Reflect on what independence means to you or what it meant to veterans who made sacrifices for it.
- Read up on history to learn about the Revolutionary War and other conflicts our veterans have fought in to protect freedom.
- Say “thank you” to any veteran you know or meet.
- Listen to a veteran’s story with patience and attention. Let them share their experience, hardship and lessons to a kind, listening ear.
- Hold a moment of silence with your family or friends to reflect on fallen soldiers and the value of independence.
- Volunteer at a local institution that benefits veterans in need.
- Donate to an organization that provides financial assistance to veterans.
“Thanking and Honoring Our Armed Forces on Veterans Day,” written by Michelle Flores, Amada contributor.