Joan’s Journey: Recognizing the Armed Services Vets Living Amongst Us

Flashback to about 10 p.m. on  June 5 in the Labor and Delivery Suite of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. My dear departed mom, Adele London, was delivering me as her two brothers, Albert and Herbert Selenkow, approached the shores of Normandy, France. D-Day and the historic Battle of Normandy was about to begin.

On my first day of life, my family didn’t know if either Selenkow lieutenants were alive. Thankfully, they survived unharmed and returned home from World War II.

Shortly after moving to Holiday Villa East (HVE), a senior living community in Santa Monica, I met an articulate 91-year-old resident who is an US Army veteran of the Battle of Normandy. I asked this gentleman, whom I named George, if he recalled two lieutenants who were with my uncles, but he did not. He also declined to be identified or be interviewed about his experiences. Why? Apparently, those close to him say that the events of the battle trouble George to this day.

Welcome Joan’s Journeyers.

Seventy-one years have passed since 155,000 Allied forces – American, Canadian, and British – stormed the beaches of Normandy and changed world history.

The spring and summer holidays of Memorial Day, D-Day, Flag Day and the Fourth of July, are patriotic celebrations in the United States which salute the men and women of the Armed Services who fought for democracy and freedom. At HVE, a lively Fourth of July barbecue featuring delicious food is held for residents, their families, friend, and staff. A lively mariachi band sings and plays music while guests dance.

In the next Joan’s Journey, veterans, such as the fellow resident pictured above who is proudly holding his Navy Lieutenant Commission letter from the president, will share their stories of service to America. Do you have a veteran you would like to salute? This month and I invite you to spotlight your hero in the Comment Section. Until the next Joan’s Journey enjoy the trip day by day.

Joan London is a freelance medical and social service writer who specializes in topics on aging. London moved from Maryland to California to enjoy life in a senior living community and enhance her quality of life by living closer to her children and grandchildren.

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