A terminally ill Army veteran has once last wish. He wants to hear your voice.
47-year-old Lee Hernandez spent more than 18 years in the Army. However, he has spent the last few months in home hospice care. Lee suffers from a terrible disease that has robbed him of most of his mobility. Doctors are helpless. The only option left is to make his life comfortable.
And that’s where you come in. Lee’s wife Ernestine takes care of him. A few days ago her friend posted a heartfelt plea for help on Facebook. The message reads:
“Good evening folks! I am asking for a favor from all you veterans! There is an Army veteran, Lee, who currently has hospice in his home. I do not know all the details, BUT what I do know is his wife told me he asked to hold his phone and when she asked why he said, “in case someone calls.”
After 2 hours and no calls he told his wife, ‘I guess no one wants to talk to me.’
Below is his number, if you want to take 5 minutes out of your day tomorrow and call him I know it will brighten his day. He is blind so his wife can read a text but he cannot. Please let Lee know that the veterans in Arizona are thinking of him!!
Anyone who wants to call him feel free.”
The post immediately received a huge outpouring of support. Bored Millennials with nothing better to do may criticize our troops, but most Americans respect the men and women who risk their lives for our country. Lee’s heartbreaking request must of hit a lot of chords.
Veterans often don’t receive the medical treatment that they deserve. The bunglers who manage the Veterans Affairs health care system should be ashamed. Lee’s sufferings weren’t caused by lack of care, but many of the people who experienced an emotional response when they heard Lee’s story questioned if the agency’s failures might have contributed to his decline.
Ernestine told reporters that her husband first became ill five years ago but his condition worsened dramatically over the past twelve months.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Some posted screen shots of reactions they had gotten to their text messages to Lee Hernandez. Ernestine Hernandez told Arizona Central they’ve had an “influx of calls, many of them from fellow veterans. Many of them pray with him…People who would like to call Lee can reach him at 210-632-6778. The best time to reach him is between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. EST, because that’s when he’s most alert.”
There couldn’t be an easier way to improve someone’s life. Lee knows that the future is uncertain, so he desires to get as much out of life as he can. Talking to people across the country, perhaps even across the world, helps broaden his life so he doesn’t feel cramped.
“Thank you, everyone, for your calls and support,” Ernestine said. “I am trying to give him the best life I am able to with the help of my mom.”
Someone who takes just a few minutes out of his or her day to talk to Lee is doing something powerful. You’ll be allowing a dying man to see a glimpse of your life, allowing him a share in the serenity or happiness that you’re trying to convey.
The conversation will be short. Lee’s uncertain health doesn’t allow him to have long talks. Just a few simple words will be enough to tell him how you feel and let him know that he’s not alone. Because he’s not. I am with him; you are with him; and so are many, many others.