(CBS) — They’ve opened their hearts to help veterans who need a caring place to live. They’re foster care-givers offering a home to both a Korean veteran and a veteran of World War II.
They’re all someone you should know, CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield reports.
Joe is an 85-year-old Korean War veteran who is receiving medical care thru the VA.
“I get my medications on time. I’m taken care of in my problems, and the food is good, too,” he says.
But he’s not in a hospital or a nursing home. He’s a member of the Stryszak family: Edward and Pat and their kids of suburban Burr Ridge.
“My wife’s always been a caregiver,” Edward Stryszak says.
They have been a medical foster family for nearly two years, and “our children look up to these veterans as family members,” he says.
“It’s been a pleasure,” Pat Stryszak says. “It’s a lot of work, don’t get me wrong. It is 24-hour care. There are times we’re up in the middle of the night, there are time when we’re running to the hospital.”
The program was initiated at Hine VA Hospital in April of 2011. Since then, 14 veterans who were patients there have become members of medical foster homes.
Although vets are with a family, they remain VA patients and received support services.
The other veteran with the family is 91-year-old Harry Stone, who served during World War II. He is blind and nearly deaf.
He fled Germany as a teenager to escape the Nazis and later was drafted into the U.S. Army.
“I’ve been in a number of nursing homes. This is by far the best I’ve ever been,” Stone says.
For more information on medical foster homes, call (708) 202-7878.