More than 800,000 Pennsylvanians and 400,000 Marylanders are military veterans, and over half are age 65 and older. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lists many of them as serving in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or the Persian Gulf War.
With countless senior veterans now living in retirement homes, it’s fitting that their communities recognize them on Veteran’s Day for their sacrifices and service.
Honoring our veterans
In honor of resident veterans at Country Meadows Retirement Communities, we traditionally place signs at the main entrance to each of our 11 campuses, listing the names of residents there who are veterans. Behind the names, though, are incredible stories. Here are just two of them:
Frank Levandowski, who lives at Country Meadows in Wyomissing, near Reading, was a paratrooper in World War II. “I was young and adventurous,” he says. “I was up for anything.” Serving in the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division, he assisted in liberating 2,300 captured civilians and American POWs in Los Banos, Philippines. The liberation—completed in just two hours—is considered one of the most successful airborne rescues in history. The next day, the unit received a telegram from Gen. Douglas McArthur. Frank recalls, “He said, in so many words, that ‘this operation was certainly overseen by God because everyone was safe, the operation was perfect.”
In Pennsylvania and Maryland, one in nine veterans is a woman. Here is an account of one of them:
Anna Swope, of Country Meadows in Hershey, served as a nurse during the Korean War, first in Japan and then, Korea. She cared for soldiers in a medical ward for a while but seems most proud of her post-war service. When the United Nations began building public health systems in war-torn Korea, Anna was recruited to help. Her mission was to “alleviate suffering, combat disease, and improve public health conditions. “This included caring for people with leprosy and teaching school administrators about emergency treatment and nutrition for students. Anna says, “The country was devastated. It was a culture shock for a young nurse—this was something I never expected to see.” In fact, family members and friends sent her clothes and supplies to distribute to needy Koreans.
Country Meadows thanks Frank, Anna and all our resident veterans for their remarkable courage, selflessness and service to their country.
Financial benefits for veterans
We want to ensure that our veterans receive all government benefits due them. Some benefits apply to veterans of specific wars or belonging to distinct demographic groups. The Veterans Benefits Assistance Program offers a pension through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for wartime veterans and their spouses with limited income who require caregivers, either in personal care/assisted living or in their own home. Per the VA’s guidelines, the monthly amount awarded is determined by an individual’s assets, income and medical expenses.
We would be glad to meet with any veterans and their spouses to discuss and review their military benefits and finances prior to choosing a retirement home. Just contact one of our communities today.
Country Meadows has 11 Pennsylvania and Maryland retirement communities. Our lifestyle options include senior independent living communities, personal care homes or assisted living facilities, and memory support services. Please contact us to request information on any of our senior living communities or to schedule a visit.