In Search of My Veteran Dad’s WWII Memories

As my dad’s memories fade due to Alzheimer’s disease, the list of things that still stick with him gets increasingly shorter. My mom’s name is frequently on his lips, even though she passed on a year ago. His service dog, Mr. Jackson, is still his key companion and, even when he can’t remember his name, he looks for “the dog.” And he still knows the 10th Mountain Division, with whom he served in World War II as they drove the Nazis and Mussolini …

Supporting Veterans and Family Caregivers at Home

BREAKING UPDATE 11/14/14: The CARE Act was signed into law in New Jersey on Nov. 13th, 2014 and will take effect  May 12th, 2015.   Several months ago,  I met Doug and Michelle Mercer of McAlester, Okla. Doug had been home from Iraq for only four days when he suffered debilitating injuries in a serious motorcycle accident. Three and a half years later, he is still recovering brain function, he uses a wheelchair and he needs help 24/7. >> Sign up for …

Stand Guard Against Veterans Scams

As we honor our former military personnel, Veterans Day is also a good time to recognize the year-round attempts to defraud them and to take advantage of those who appreciate their sacrifice and service. In some scams, veterans are specifically targeted. In others, fraudsters impersonate active-duty or former soldiers or claim to be working on their behalf to con patriotic civilians. A rundown of common schemes: Charity scams: Bogus charities that claim to benefit veterans are also among the most successful schemes, …

Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits Can Help, But Process Difficult

When I first started investigating the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits program for my Dad, a decorated WWII Veteran who earned the Bronze Star while serving in Italy with the 10th Mountain Division, I was excited to learn that he might qualify for some financial assistance to help with the cost of his care. Aid and Attendance is an enhanced or special monthly pension program for certain veterans who require care. Dad has developed Alzheimer’s disease and …

The Takeaway: Senate Passes Veteran’s Jobs Package; MacArthur Fellow Fights Elder Abuse

Though the President’s overall jobs plan has been languishing in a divided Congress, the veteran’s jobs package””including a provision to give companies tax credits for hiring unemployed military veterans and a job-training program for vets””passed the Senate yesterday 94-1.

Red, White and Blue: Honoring our Veterans

This is a guest post by Lee Woodruff. Woodruff is a contributing home and family editor for ABC’s Good Morning America. Her first novel will be published summer 2012. Lee and her family make their home in Westchester County, NY. “Mrs. Woodruff, what girl is ever going to go home with me from a bar?”  He looked up at me with a lopsided grin that said he was partially joking but also dead serious.  His voice was devoid of self …