Thor: A Lifetime of Service

Thor in Army training at Ft. Jackson, SC, 1966.
Thor (age 21) at his home in Winona, MN.

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.

Having fresh food allowed Thor to remain independent and have the nourishing grocery items that brought him comfort and met his nutritional needs.
During a recent visit, it was apparent that he came alive when presented with boxes of fresh grocery items and was proud to share the ways that IFCS had touched his past holidays away from the closeness of family.
Thor lives in affordable housing for seniors and supports himself with disability benefits. He wishes that his mobility was not a challenge, as he loves to give to his community.

Integrated Family Community Services (IFCS) is raising awareness about the needs of people who served our nation and who actively serve our community today. Data taken by the US government in mid-June of 2021 shows that 7.7% of adults in Colorado households are experiencing inadequate food resources.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Thor for his service to our country and for his willingness to share this story.

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This statement was updated 8.3.22 in accordance with USDA updates and guidelines.