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Lifestyles over 50

The Price of Freedom

Nov 08, 2022 02:37PM ● By Elissa Clausnitzer
During troubled times, sometimes we Americans do not realize how blessed we really are! We live in a country where we can express ourselves! Consider how many sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers have given their life and limbs for this honor.
Once I was asked to be a song leader at a Mass for the Archbishop of the Armed Services in a Veteran’s Hospital in New Jersey. You usually think of veterans as older soldiers, but that is not always the case. During the Mass, a young soldier in a wheelchair, whose lower legs were missing, leaned forward and almost fell out of the wheelchair. That brought reality really fast. There were many young veterans in wheelchairs, holding canes and walking with walkers. The research done for this enlightened me to the reality of our Veteran’s Administration.

Many veterans seem to be quite disappointed with the administration and their handling of their affairs. I was also shocked at the statistics regarding suicides and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). There are at least 20 suicides a day and that is not the most recent statistic. Paperwork requirements stall the giving of assistance to veterans. Paperwork seems more important then someone’s life.

There are also many homeless veterans who find it difficult to find housing for themselves and their family. Fighting for our democracy, many heroes have given their lives for all of us. I hope we have not forgotten that Veterans Day and Thanksgiving are coming. Let’s partake of any ceremonies that commemorate them. Remember: respect and honor.

Christmas is a lovely time of the year and children are smiling with the anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus. Do you remember all those memorable days with enthusiasm and joy? Let’s remember the real meaning of Christmas. It has been a hard 2 years, but remember all the events that we can enjoy because of all the heroes who sacrificed for us. God bless them all and God bless America, and remember the price paid by many for the Freedom that is not Free!

Veterans May Be Eligible for VA Healthcare Coverage
Veterans who served in the active military, naval, or air services and didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge may be eligible for VA health care benefits. To be eligible, veterans must have served 24 continuous months or the full period for which they were called to active duty. In addition, any service person discharged for a disability caused or made worse by active duty is eligible.

For more information about VA health care,

Are you enrolled in a TRICARE or VA Community Care Network (VA CCN) plan? If unsure, visit the following links for eligibility and enrollment information. These links will provide you with guidance for enrolling in the plan most appropriate for your needs: 

New to TRICARE? Confirm your eligibility online or call 1-800-538-9552.


OPTUM, VA Community Care Network

OPTUM Veteran Login:

OPTUM Veteran Quick Reference Guide: