Honoring veterans should include providing quality long-term care

Posted 11 November 2013 at 12:00 am


Though he was a World War II veteran of five amphibious assaults in the Pacific, Joe Licurse never asked anyone for anything, not even a pat on the back. Joe never required long term care either. Would it have been asking too much for us to provide it, had he needed it?

As Veterans’ Day approaches, the impact of the decision to sell “The Villages” seems all the more tragic. What many people may not know is that many veterans needing long term care get the best around at “The Villages of Orleans,” our County nursing home. There is very little to assure us that such excellent care will continue, once we’ve passed the responsibility on to those who are in it for a buck. For us, quality care has meant honoring and respecting our elders.It is unfortunate that we’ve lately indicated we’re willing to put a price on that.

Just as all our seniors, veterans have spent their lives paying taxes to build, maintain and staff “The Villages” what Linda Rak refers to as a kind of “insurance policy.”

Isn’t maintaining it under County control a fitting way to honor the sacrifices of our eldersincluding veterans? Might it be one of the best indications that we truly value what they have provided us?

The values we share as Americans include defense of those least able to defend themselves. The qualities of loyalty and doing the right thing are a large part of how we see ourselves. The Pledge of Allegiance ends with a commitment to “ justice for all.” Our flag symbolizes all these and more.

Deciding that we cannot afford to continue a 183-year commitment to our elders is a sad comment on where we are headed as people. Joe Licurse’s life defined loyalty. How will our lives be defined? I, for one, do not believe recent events locally should be taken as an indication that the people of Orleans County approve ending the commitment that “The Villages of Orleans” symbolizes.

Sincerely yours,

Gary F. Kent