Dementia is a heartbreaking condition.
For these poor souls, the nightmare just never ends. And if the condition was caused in part by another nightmare, one can only imagine the difficulties they face every day.
Such is the case for 84-year-old Vietnam veteran Lawrence Silk, who wakes up some days thinking he has to ship out and fight again.
The brave patriot who participated in three different tours in Vietnam has dementia, and his family wishes he could find some relief.
Perhaps that’s why his daughter Julie Dunn and her husband Kenny posted about the man’s condition on social media; they wanted to bring attention to the situation.
“He believes he has to return to the war to complete his tour and is very upset that his memory care home will not let him go,” wrote Kenny.
“He is currently in hospice care and through his ups and downs, he consistently is haunted by his need to do his duty.”
Well, it seems this worked because Lt. Col. Andy LaFrazia saw the post and decided he’d visit Silk to deliver a very important message.
The couple begged the military official to give the suffering man some sort of award or certificate that would remind him of his service, and put him at ease.
LaFrazia couldn’t pass it up. He had served in the same squadron as Silk back in Vietnam and he volunteered to visit his old comrade at the care home in Vancouver.
The result? Magic.
LaFrazia presented Silk with a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. Air Force, a USAF Civil Engineering badge, and challenge coins from the Prime Beef and Red Horse Units.
“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.”
Social media has since exploded with an outpouring of support, which Julie and Kenny greatly appreciate. They also appreciate Lt. LaFrazia for everything he has done.
Again, this is an extremely difficult situation and while Silk’s dementia won’t be cured, this could help a great deal. And at the very least, it’s a matter of “comfort and dignity,” as Julie said.
“We feel truly blessed that a community of strangers came together to help us bring that to him when he needed it the most.”
Not only does this story restore one’s faith in humanity, it reminds us of the deeply entrenched honor of our heroes who serve in the military. It’s a truly great thing.