The summer of 2016 was hard for Thor. He got to the point where he no longer could walk and he didn’t know where to turn. This 76-year-old immigrant from Western Ukraine had become a U.S. citizen to serve this country in the military and create some security for his future. After a life of service, he was no longer able to get around on his own because he was dealing with heart disease and a severe leg injury he suffered in military service during the Vietnam War era.
For over 50 years, this life-long bachelor was able to live on his own and take care of his basic needs while being permanently disabled. After his ten-year enlistment in the Army and National Guard, he took a civilian job as a printer’s pressman that required him to be on his feet, but also allowed him to lean on the machinery for a break from his discomfort. This honorably medically discharged veteran had a few older relatives that helped take care of each other, but now he was truly on his own after a lifetime of service to the community and his country. He was enthusiastic in reaching out to others in need and was active with the Disabled American Veterans organization, assisting others working through some of the same challenges.
Thor was seeking assistance to meet some of his immediate mobility challenges of not driving or being able to get out of his apartment. He found the Integrated Family Community Services’ (IFCS) Adopt-a-Senior Holiday program and signed up to receive deliveries of holiday food and gifts. He was at first hesitant to receive these items, as he had always been on the other side of the generosity.
These warm holiday programs reminded him of his family celebrations back home in Galicia, Ukraine. He fondly remembers that good food was always central to bringing people together and also taking care of nourishing an active lifestyle. For Thor, nutritious food was the key to good health and kept him out of the doctor’s office.