Vietnam Vet with Dementia Given a Special ‘Release from Service’
Lawrence Silk is an 84-year-old army veteran who did three tours in Vietnam. However, he also suffers from dementia and had forgotten that he was released from the army. In fact, during his “down” moments, he sometimes gets upset that he’s not able to leave to go complete his war duty.
His daughter Julie Dunn, told BBC that while Silk had several psychological troubles, his Vietnam memories were so much more intense. “He’d started to talk about the Pentagon, saying they were going to send someone out with his uniform and rifle so he could report for duty,” Julie said.
Saddened by the recurring episodes, Silk’s son-in-law, Kenny Dunn posted an ad on Facebook to find any officer in the military to personally visit Silk and officially inform him that his tour of duty was over.
“We are asking for a current or retired military officer to volunteer to come visit him in uniform and relay to him that his responsibility to his country has been fulfilled. Perhaps present a certificate of some kind and take a picture so we can show it to him in the event that he forgets,” wrote Kenny.
Fortunately, the post had reached Lt. Col. LaFrazia, a retired officer from the same squadron as Silk and agreed to visit the 84-year-old retired army veteran to do the request.
“Today, Lt. Col. LaFrazia presented my Dad, Lawrence, with a certificate of appreciation from the US Air Force, a USAF Civil Engineering badge, and challenge coins from the Prime Beef and Red Horse Units.” wrote Julie on her Facebook poste. “He also brought with him a reassuring message that his responsibilities to the USAF and the Vietnam Conflict have been concluded and he never has to worry again about returning.”
The family is grateful for the time given by the Lt. Col as well as all the support given to them by countless people. “When a loved one loses their memory in the twilight of their life the most that we can hope to give them is comfort and dignity. We feel truly blessed that a community of strangers came together to help us bring that to him when he needed it the most.” Said Julie.
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