Many of you know Dr. Mike Wasserman as our very own resident @WassDoc, a man who delights in talking about superheroes and superhero-related injuries, but I know him as one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met on this planet.
Case in point, his work with Wish Of A Lifetime.
Founded by Jeremy Bloom in memory of his beloved grandmother, Donna Wheeler, Wish Of A Lifetime grants lifelong wishes to senior citizens who’ve spent their lives selflessly taking care of others, or were just not able to fulfill their dreams on their own due to bumps in the road or the challenges life throws in our path.
This last week, Dr. Mike and WOL raised funds to help WWII veteran Philip Prince, get his wish to travel to Japan to honor and say goodbye to brother Palmer, who had perished in Japan and was buried at sea.
WWII was a time in our country’s history where entire families of men, fathers and brothers, enlisted to “fight the good fight” and, in some unfortunate instances, did not return home alive. Philip Prince and his three brothers were no different and became soldiers in the U.S. Army. When the war ended, Palmer was the only brother who perished and sadly, not able to be sent home to be buried on the beloved home soil he died to protect.
Here is an excerpt from their experience (titled The Greatest Generation) as written by the good doctor himself:
“Major Anderson and Mr. Connell first took us to see a place where the Japanese had hid kamikaze planes prior to the invasion of Okinawa. These were not the planes that hit the USS Hyman, but that didn’t really matter. You could see the meaning on Philip’s face as we bent over to look inside the concrete shells that had once housed kamikaze planes.
From there we drove to the spot where the Japanese surrendered in Okinawa in September of 1945. As we learned yesterday at the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum, the Okinawan people do not speak of war, they speak only of peace. It is unfortunate, but true, that we still live in a world where peace must still be accompanied by a military. The fact that Major Anderson is Chief of Public Affairs for the 18th Wing and that Mr. Connell is one of their historians, tells me the importance that our military places on this. As I have said in an earlier article, those who refuse to acknowledge history are destined to repeat it.”
If you’d like to read more about this riveting and touching story of Philip Prince, head on over to Dr. Mike’s website, where you can also read his thoughts on healthcare and medicine…he’s easily the smartest guy I know; I know you’ll learn something along the way.
If you wonder where the donations go and IF they get where they’re supposed to go, I’ll let the WOL site answer that for me:
In 2011, Wish of a Lifetime granted 191 Wishes, and 95% of Wish Recipients state they feel their quality of life improved after having their Wish granted. In addition, 96% report an increase in physical health, and 94% say they feel an increase in their overall purpose in life. Since 2008, Wish of a Lifetime has made more than 400 hundred Wishes come true for seniors in 40 states and the District of Columbia.
As a former Army brat and the product of my father being sent to South Korea instead of Vietnam in 1969 (where he met my mother) and seeing the effects of WWII on my grandfather, I have a huge respect for those in uniform. If this had been around when he was alive, I think he would’ve been a different man.
For more information about Wish Of A Lifetime, visit SeniorWish.org where you can learn how/where you can donate to this amazing organization and while there, check out some videos from those who’ve had their wish fulfilled. Whether you want to donate overall or donate to a specific wish (including vehicle donations) or volunteer some of your time, anything you can give is much appreciated.
Thanks again to Dr. Mike for sharing this lovely adventure.
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