WWII to the Korean War
By Matthew Larime
[P]atriotism… is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. ~Adlai Stevenson
“World War II (1939-1945) killed more people, destroyed more property, disrupted more lives, and probably had more far reaching effects than any other war in history.”
WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA
For the past several years, the veteran population primarily served for end of life care was the WWII veteran. It is estimated 1.9 billion people served worldwide during WWII, of which 16.1 million were Americans. The exploration and use of the atomic bomb, WWII veterans experienced a change in warfare and were exposed to foreign agents, not yet understood or effectively treatable by our healthcare systems. In addition to the atomic bomb, our veterans were exposed to infectious diseases, chemical warfare, nuclear cleanup/exposure and climate related injuries. Upon return from the war, veterans received unprecedented support and patriotism from the people and the United States government. Prior to the war’s conclusion, in 1944, congress passed and made effective a large number of new benefits for veterans. As WWII came to an end, the number of veterans jumped from 4 million to 19 million almost overnight. In 2013, the median age for a WWII veteran is 89. In 2015, it is estimated only 800,000 veterans from WWII will be living.
Through the We Honor Veterans initiative, Front Range Hospice staff is encouraged and trained to initiate conversation and support for veterans and their families. The staff of Front Range Hospice embraced the additional trainings, taking the time to learn about WWII veterans and the additional needs veterans have at end of life. Through education and relationship building, Front Range Hospice is able to assist veterans and families access end of life benefits including, home assistance, end of life arrangements and support for immediate family members. Front Range Hospice continues to initiate contacts in veteran communities, strengthening collaboration and partnership efforts. Along the journey, Front Range Hospice has been able to connect with the veteran’s it serves, identify areas staff need additional training and continue to work providing excellent care and services to today’s veterans.
In 2014, it is estimated 60% of all veterans over the age of 65 will be from the Korean War era…