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The fog of forgotten men

Posted 3/07/18 (Wed)

She walks the halls each day among forgotten men—so forgotten, most of them cannot even remember themselves.

They are the Alzheimer’s patients at the veteran’s home in St. Cloud.

You have to be special to walk the long halls on gleaming floors past the slumped bodies in wheel chairs, others leaning against the walls with vacant eyes, and not see this as a hopeless place lost in a timeless fog.

They are all victims of misfortune stacked upon hardship. And so this is how it ends for these veterans, wounded by war, some brutalized worse by the peace and the haunting memories that followed. Waiting… Enduring... Winding down like the spring in a child’s toy. Nothing to look forward to; nothing left to remember.

When at long last a soldier’s fight ends, the body is bagged, placed on a gurney and wheeled away. “It feels like we’re just taking out the trash,” one registered nurse said at a staff meeting.