Retired Colonel Phillip A. Richardson age 63, my father, served his country for 32 years in the Air Force and Army. Starting his service with the Air Force during Vietnam, he has served in parts of the world such as Guam, Turkey, Thailand, and Japan. He was, and still is, a very respected leader, receiving praise from a majority of the men he served with. While serving in the Army his primary role was tank commander. This meant he spend a large amount of his time inside of a tank, and took a lot of abuse to his head and brain. Diagnosed in 2009, Phil is currently suffering from Frontotemporal dementia, a form of dementia that drastically changes every part of his life. The doctors have said that although genetics may have played a part in his disease, his condition was most likely caused by severe head injuries and concussions resulting from years of being a tank commander. However this has not been enough for the Veterans Administration to link his condition to his service time.
Before his diagnoses he lived a very normal life. Aside from his military career he was involved in my Boy Scout troops, church responsibilities, community events, and many other activities. It wasn't until the tragic passing of my 16 year old brother David, from sudden cardiac death, in 2003 that we started seeing some symptoms. The symptoms eventually led him into early retirement from the workforce, and the family being perplexed started asking questions. He was diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 59, and hasn't been the same since. At first he was having trouble doing small tasks, but it wasn't anything major. This led into him not being able to drive, or do some of the activities he had done his whole life. He eventually needed to have an in home nurses aide come in everyday for 6 hours at a time to help him function through the day. In 2012, the disease finally caught up with him. He needed full around the clock supervision and help, so he needed to be in a facility that could meet his needs. That is currently where he resides now, about 20 minutes away from the home and family that he loved the most. His condition is constantly degrading, but that doesn't stop him from still smiling. Visited by his friends and family often, he still has a positive outlook on the situation.
As you all probably know this type of facility doesn't come cheap, nor should it. The quality of care that he needs, and is getting where he is, puts a gigantic financial strain on my mother and I. It has gone so far recently that I have had to stop going to Capital University one semester before graduation, to find full time work. The financial strain has also became such a burden that our family is having a hard time paying bills that are necessary for month to month living. This is because since the Veterans Administration does not think that his condition is caused from his service, so we do not receive any financial benefits, including long term care, from them. So we have to pay 2/3rds of our monthly income, roughly $3,100 a month to keep him in the facility.
My thought was to get on this website and see if I could raise some money to help pay for his nursing home bills. Our goal of $6,200 is to pay at least two months of his care, which would relieve some of the stress on the family. Any donation small or large will be very important and with be received with great appreciation.
My mother and I both know that all of our family and friends have help very much with our situation already. We want to thank each and everyone of you for even just visiting this page. Please share this page with your Facebook friends. Thank you very much again.
My father and I Christmas of 2013.
My cousin, myself, my father, and brother in 2003.
My Brother Robert and my father saluting each other for the first time
My Father and his Grandchildren in October of 2013
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