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Lebanon County Edition | September 2017 • Vol. 12 No. 9

Where animals help people page 4

finding help LOCAL VET for Seniors CARRIES addicted to VIETNAM ON opioids HIS SHOULDER page 9

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Sepsis: Deadly Condition Requires Urgent Treatment By Keith Gillogly

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president of hospitalist services at PinnacleHealth Hospital and HAP Despite the fact that sepsis affects (The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania) sepsis more than 1.5 million Americans physician champion, says, the more each year, it’s been called a silent organ systems affected, the more epidemic and urgent public health deadly sepsis becomes.    issue. Sepsis and septic shock are Sepsis has been garnering more considered the No. 1 cause of attention lately among the medical preventable community and hospitaland the related public, mortalities, however. Stoner says. September “Statistically, is Sepsis a small number Awareness of our folks in Month. the community Sepsis is a are aware of condition that what sepsis is, results when even though the body’s it’s the No. response to 1 killer and infection has a higher injures its mortality rate own tissues than heart and organs. attack,” he As the says. “What immune we need to do system is ensure that responds the community to foreign is engaged invaders, in sepsis it often education and overshoots, awareness.” September is Sepsis triggering Depending damaging Awareness Month on severity of inflammation the infection, and lifethe sepsis threatening mortality rate can approach 50 consequences. percent, says Dr. Jason M. Biggs, Usually bacterial infections chair of emergency medicine at St. lead to sepsis, but viral and fungal Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh.   pathogens can also cause it. Historically, Stoner says sepsis If unchecked, organ systems can was thought of as a condition of the begin to fail. During septic shock, very young and very ill. In actuality blood pressure drops so low that the body cannot adequately manage “it affects everyone, top to bottom, left to right,” he says, although it’s blood perfusion and oxygenation of more common in the elderly and in its tissues and organs. immunocompromised patients.    Such condition puts strain on To diagnose sepsis, doctors first virtually all the organ systems, potentially causing organ failure and assess vital signs. Elevated heart rate and elevated respiratory rate injuring the kidneys, heart, lungs, are key clinical symptoms. Septic brain, and other organs. patients usually present a fever or in As Dr. Thomas Stoner, vice www.50plusLifePA.com


some cases, especially in the elderly, hypothermia, Stoner says. Confusion and altered mental status can also indicate sepsis. The faster sepsis is detected and treated, the greater the likelihood of survival; hours, even minutes, count. “The most important thing is early recognition,” Biggs says. “We think about [sepsis] every time we see someone with an infection.” But diagnosing sepsis is trickier than it seems. Conditions such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and gastrointestinal infections commonly precede sepsis. These conditions, along with a host of other

types of infections, all present their own sometimes similar symptoms and complications, which can muddle diagnosis. Further, no lab test can specifically identify sepsis. Still, doctors can measure blood lactate levels and perform other tests to aid with diagnosis. Administering intravenous antibiotics and fluids is standard sepsis treatment. The antibiotics work to eliminate the infectious pathogens and modulate inflammation while the fluids aim to normalize blood pressure and support blood perfusion to organs and tissue.

Staying current on vaccines, such as the meningococcal vaccine and a regular flu shot, will help prevent sepsis. Preventing or properly managing any infections is key to stopping sepsis before it sets in. Sepsis survivors can still experience cardiovascular complications or be on dialysis for the rest of their lives, among other chronic issues. Stoner says older and sicker survivors can be prone to developing some cognitive impairment. Biggs recalls seeing one elderly patient with flu-like symptoms and evidence of pneumonia. Approximately 80 years old, she was

the type of patient who knew her medical history and was on top of her health, he says. Her pneumonia led to sepsis and, soon after, septic shock. She wound up in the ICU on a ventilator and medicine to support her dangerously low blood pressure. Yet, with aggressive fluids and antibiotics, her treatment prevailed, and she was eventually sent home. Had she waited an additional 24 hours to come in, Biggs says, she might not have lived. For more information on sepsis and septic shock, visit the Sepsis Alliance at www.sepsis.org.

At Your Fingertips Helpful numbers, hotlines, and local businesses and organizations eager to serve you—all just a phone call away. Emergency Numbers Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222 Food Resources Food Stamps (800) 692-7462

CONTACT Helpline (717) 652-4400

PennDOT (800) 932-4600

Kidney Foundation (717) 652-8123

Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers (800) 472-8477

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (717) 652-6520

Recycling (800) 346-4242

Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging Meals on Wheels (717) 273-9262

Lupus Foundation (888) 215-8787 Hearing Services Melnick, Moffitt & Mesaros ENT Associates 927 Russell Drive, Lebanon (717) 274-9775

Social Security Information (800) 772-1213

Lebanon County Christian Ministries (717) 272-4400 Salvation Army (717) 273-2655 Funeral & Cremation Services Cremation Society of Pennsylvania Serving Lebanon County (800) 720-8221 Health & Medical Services Alzheimer’s Association (717) 651-5020 American Cancer Society (717) 231-4582 American Diabetes Association (717) 657-4310 American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association (717) 207-4265 American Lung Association (717) 541-5864 Arthritis Foundation (717) 274-0754 Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (717) 787-7500 www.50plusLifePA.com

Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 233-3008 V/TTY Hospitals Medical Society of Lebanon County (717) 270-7500 WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital 252 S. Fourth St., Lebanon (717) 270-7500 Hotlines Energy Assistance (800) 692-7462 Environmental Protection Agency Emergency Hotline (800) 541-2050 IRS Income Tax Assistance (800) 829-1040 Medicaid (800) 692-7462 Medicare (800) 382-1274

Office of Aging Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging (717) 273-9262 Pharmacies CVS/pharmacy www.cvs.com Senior Centers Annville Senior Community Center (717) 867-1796

United Way of Lebanon County 2-1-1 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (800) 827-1000 Housing Assistance Housing Assistance & Resources Program (HARP) (717) 273-9328

Maple Street Senior Community Center (717) 273-1048 Myerstown Senior Community Center (717) 866-6786 Northern Lebanon County Senior Community Center (717) 865-0944 Palmyra Senior Community Center (717) 838-8237

Lebanon County Housing & Redevelopment Authorities (717) 274-1401 Lebanon HOPES (717) 274-7528, ext. 3201 Independent Living Communities Country Acres Manufactured Home Park 1600 Kercher Ave., Myerstown (717) 866-5496 Insurance Medicare Hotline (800) 638-6833 Legal Services Pennsylvania Bar Association (717) 238-6715

Senior Center of Lebanon Valley (717) 274-3451 Veterans Services Governor’s Veterans Outreach (717) 234-1681 Lebanon VA Medical Center 1700 S. Lincoln Ave., Lebanon (717) 228-6000 or (800) 409-8771 Volunteer opportunitIes RSVP of the Capital Region (717) 454-8647

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Not an all-inclusive list of advertisers in your area.

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Cover Story

Where Animals Help People Corporate Office

3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Phone 717.285.1350 • Fax 717.285.1360 Chester County: 610.675.6240 Cumberland County/Dauphin County: 717.770.0140 Berks County/Lancaster County/ Lebanon County/York County: 717.285.1350 E-mail address: info@onlinepub.com Website address: www.onlinepub.com

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50plus LIFE is published by On-Line Publishers, Inc. and is distributed monthly among senior centers, retirement communities, banks, grocers, libraries and other outlets serving the senior community. On-Line Publishers, Inc. will not knowingly accept or publish advertising which may be fraudulent or misleading in nature. Views expressed in opinion stories, contributions, articles and letters are not necessarily the views of the publisher. The appearance of advertisements for products or services does not constitute an endorsement of the particular product or service. The publisher will not be responsible for mistakes in advertisements unless notified within five days of publication. On-Line Publishers, Inc. reserves the right to revise or reject any and all advertising. No part of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without permission of On-Line Publishers, Inc. We will not knowingly publish any advertisement or information not in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act, Pennsylvania State laws or other local laws.

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By Lori Van Ingen

she said. “We were thrown out there together.” The Capital Area C.D., now aged Therapeutic Riding 19, turned into Association holds one of the nicest, a special place in friendliest, calmest volunteer Roni horses at CATRA. Dietrich’s heart. “Shirley calls him “CATRA ‘the babysitter.’ It is my refuge,” feels good being Dietrich said. part of that. Every “When I started little girl who comes (volunteering at through says, ‘That’s CATRA), I had the horse I love.’” just learned I Currently, there had rheumatoid are about 25 horses arthritis and was in the program, in menopause at as well as a few the same time. My Examples of Dietrich’s scrimshaw artwork, miniature horses emotions were all all carved on 10,000-year-old woolly mammoth ivory. and donkeys, over the place.” working with clients Since 1985, who come from the six to eight surrounding counties. CATRA has been the place to go to find “animals helping people.” CATRA is a therapeutic riding school The horses are generally older horses, with a median age of 20 years. for people of all generations with all types of special “They are fantastic horses. Not every horse can take and typical needs. Clients have had everything from multiple sclerosis, an autistic child who rocks back and forth or hums and chatters without being scared and running off. fibromyalgia, and Guillain-Barré syndrome to Down Not every horse can take two people on each side syndrome, autism, and Asperger’s syndrome. CATRA (leading them) or two riders on their backs,” Dietrich has also welcomed clients with attention deficit disorder, learning disabilities, memory issues, dyslexia, said. “These horses do it with grace.” Every Wednesday, Dietrich waters and feeds the hydrocephaly, rheumatoid arthritis, and nerve damage. horses with a special mixture made specifically for each Dietrich began volunteering in 1998, working individual horse’s health issues. She also gives them with the horses every Wednesday morning and then medications in a big syringe for those who won’t take helping all year long with lessons for CATRA’s 125it in their food. 135 riders per week. Then, after eating lunch with the girlfriends she has “I’ve never found (a therapeutic riding school) like made at CATRA, Dietrich rides the horses herself. CATRA. It’s an amazing program with no paid staff, “Horses need a job all the time,” she said. “CATRA not even the directors,” she said. Because CATRA has no paid employees, volunteers is great for people like me who don’t have the time, space, or finances to have a horse.” are “right there in the mix, cleaning stalls, grooming It’s also a great place for people over 50 to horses, working with the clients,” Dietrich said. volunteer. Two years later, CATRA founder and director “Almost all of our daytime volunteers are in their Shirley Nolt came to Dietrich and said, “I’ve got you a 60s. The place is pretty much run by older people.” horse.” Besides helping to run the day-to-day operations “She brings out this horse that is every little girl’s of the therapeutic riding school, Dietrich is also on dream,” Dietrich said. “I was like 12 years old again.” some of the nonprofit’s committees to raise funds The horse—named C.D. for the actor, Charles Dutton, who had previously owned him—was 2 years throughout the year, including the motorcycle ride committee. old and had never had a saddle or lead line. For six years, CATRA has held a 60-mile “I had never worked with a green horse before,” motorcycle ride in the Pennsylvania countryside in Correction August. The popular fundraiser offers a musical group performance, silent auction, and door prizes following On the cover of 50plus LIFE’s August issue, we the ride. incorrectly identified a photo of Paul Anka as Frankie Another fundraiser is Comedy, Arts and Sweets, Avalon. The photo showed Bandstand dancer Arlene held in November at Hollywood Casino’s John Sullivan with Anka. We regret the error. www.50plusLifePA.com


Henry Room, which looks out over the paddock where the horses get ready for the races. After watching the horse races, a comedian performs, donated art is auctioned off in a silent auction, and fancy sweets from local bakeries are auctioned off in a live auction. The biggest fundraiser is CATRAthon, held each fall. CATRAthon includes a walk, a bike ride, and a critter parade of all types of farm animals dressed up in costume. There is also a mini-trail ride, silent auction, bake sale, and chicken barbecue. While Dietrich can be found at CATRA every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon, she used to stay longer and would come other days as well when she started, the 61-year-old Dietrich said. “Now that my husband is retired and I’m a grandma, my time is split up more. I’m an artist, too, and I’ve got to get that work done, as well.” Dietrich is a renowned scrimshaw artist, selling her work worldwide. One of CATRA’s horses is Dietrich’s logo for her Wild Horse Studio. Dietrich got her start at a rock and gem show in 1979. “Mom and I saw some scrimshaw

that I couldn’t afford. Mom said, ‘You can make that,’ and I did” after purchasing a starter scrimshaw kit. She comes by her talent naturally. Her mother was a woodcarver and her father was a lapidary and silversmith. Dietrich now sells her artwork mainly through commissioned pieces, as well as at knife and gun shows and occasionally an art show. Each year, Dietrich enters a piece or two in the Mystic Scrimshaw competition in Mystic, Connecticut. She earned the Best Color Wildlife trophy in 2005. Dietrich was even mentioned on page 12 of Tom Clancy’s Net Force book, Point of Impact. She also has contributed to a scrimshaw manual, Scrimshaw Techniques by Jim Stevens. She has artwork at three galleries: Brain Vessel in Mechanicsburg; Mystic Scrimshanders in Wickford, Rhode Island; and Bowen’s Wharf Scrimshanders in Newport, Rhode Island. More information about Dietrich’s artwork can be found at Wild Horse Studio’s Facebook page, and more information on CATRA can be found at www.catra.net.

Eat These Foods to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer Prostate cancer is one of the Brazil nuts. Benefits: Selenium; six most common forms of cancer in to eight nuts contain 700 percent of a men—more than 180,000 cases are daily serving. diagnosed each year. Tomatoes. Diet can be a Benefits: Lycopene. factor, doctors Men who eat say, especially 10 portions of one of foods tomatoes a week high in saturated may reduce their fats found in risk of prostate meat and dairy cancer by 18 products. percent. Men may be Walnuts. September is Prostate Cancer able to reduce Benefits: Walnuts Awareness Month their risk of and walnut oil developing have been shown prostate cancer to reduce levels of the hormone IGF-1, by eating more of these healthy foods: which has been linked to prostate cancer. Broccoli. Benefits: Low in Coffee. Benefits: Antioxidants, as well carbohydrates and rich in antioxidants as stimulating the body to metabolize and phytochemicals that may prevent sugars more efficiently. Green tea shares cell changes contributing to cancer. similar qualities. Salmon. Benefits: Lots of omega-3 Carrots. Benefits: Beta-carotene, fatty acids that can inhibit prostate which turns into vitamin A and has cancer. antioxidant properties. www.50plusLifePA.com

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Discover support and services available to meet challenges you may encounter as a senior, as someone who is caring for an older loved one, or a person with a disability.

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September 2017

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The Bookworm Sez

Dreaming the Beatles Terri Schlichenmeyer

There are places you remember. And things: the basement rec room in your parents’ house, where the family stereo sat. Your upstairs bedroom and the portable turntable bought with babysitting money. The transistor radio on the beach or at your part-time summer job. You hear a certain song, and they’re all practically in front of you, and in Dreaming the Beatles by Rob Sheffield, you’ll revisit them again. No matter what age you are, says Sheffield, you know exactly who they are: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Even today’s grade-schoolers know Beatles songs from half a century ago—but why? What made those “lads” so special? “It wasn’t their timing,” says Sheffield. “It wasn’t drugs. It wasn’t

that they were the voice of a generation … yet the allure of the music keeps on growing, nearly 50 years after the band split.” They were just four talented boys among thousands back then. John met Paul at a village fair. They interviewed George for the band. Ringo, almost a pro with his personalized drum kit, came along later. Dreaming the Beatles: The Love They meshed and Story of One Band and became so close to the Whole World By Rob Sheffield one another that c. 2017, Dey Street when John went on

holiday with his wife, Cynthia, and son, Julian, he could do little but mope about how he missed his mates. In light of how an album is made today, their work was astounding: their first album was recorded in one 13hour day, the same day some of the lyrics were written; against popular wisdom of the times, their publisher allowed them to perform their own songs rather than covers of 351 pages other tunes. Not long after, their touring schedule would be likewise brutal: The Beatles would play a half-hour in one tiny venue, then dash to the next joint to do it again in the same night. They squabbled, compromised, and laughed, mourned losses and celebrated successes. They learned to “stop swearing and eating and drinking and belching onstage” and became pros who were sometimes annoyed by “the scream.” In the end, they were so sick of one

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another that none could wait to be rid of the rest. And yet—they couldn’t completely let go … Although it’s nearly totally subjective and perhaps itching for argument, Dreaming the Beatles is a Fab Four fantasy for fans. Truly, it’s hard to imagine debating with anyone other than author and Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield on this subject. Sheffield writes with the patter of an AM-radio deejay, as he moves from album to band biography to musician profile in his reasoning for naming the Beatles as the best band ever. In leaving room for dissent and inviting discussion, that opinionated evidence offers enough memorysparkers to take boomers back a few decades and plenty of insider gossip to satisfy younger readers. So, argue and ponder, enjoy Dreaming the Beatles, but give yourself time to listen to the songs, too. You won’t be sorry, in any case: You know you love the music, and you may have read other books about the Beatles, but in your life, you’ll love this more. The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 14,000 books.

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s Alzheimer’s disease is the sixthleading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death for individuals age 65 and older. This devastating and debilitating disease is the ultimate thief—of memories, independence, control, time, and, ultimately, life. And the disease is often dealt with in silence. Those facing the disease feel a stigma surrounding

their diagnosis and often don’t seek the support they need. At the Alzheimer’s Association, we hear from individuals daily that they “feel alone.” Family and friends stop

September 16, 2017 City Island, Harrisburg

Registration at 9 a.m. • Walk at 10 a.m.

September 23, 2017

Clipper Magazine Stadium, Lancaster Registration at 9 a.m. • Walk at 10 a.m.

October 7, 2017

John C. Rudy Park, York Registration at 9 a.m. • Walk at 10 a.m. Easy online registration at http://www.alz.org/walk • Volunteer opportunities available. • Teams and individuals welcome.

Chapter Presenting Sponsors Registration brochures, team packets, and sponsorship packets available. For more information, please contact: Harrisburg Walk Asheleigh Forsburg, Senior Events Manager (717) 651-5020; aforsburg@alz.org

Lancaster/York Walk Fran Gibbons, Constituent Events Manager (717) 568-2595; fgibbons@alz.org

Alzheimer’s Association 2595 Interstate Drive, Suite 100 • Harrisburg, PA 17110

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visiting because of “abnormal” behavior—a symptom of the disease— and caregivers become more and more isolated. We want patients and their families to know that there is hope, and there is help, through the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania. There are more than 5 million Americans currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and more than 15 million caregivers. In Pennsylvania alone, there are more than 400,000 individuals diagnosed. We are here to provide education and support to the millions who face dementia every day, while advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention, ultimately to end Alzheimer’s disease. We have offices locally and support groups throughout the region for those facing this disease to meet with others in similar situations. We also host the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This is the association’s largest annual awareness and fundraising event, which occurs during the fall. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a day of hope, an opportunity—a day we all come together to see that we’re not alone in our fight. Some walk to honor and remember those they have lost. Some walk to share stories of living with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. Some walk so

that future generations won’t have to face the debilitating and devastating effects of the disease. Some walk because they want to help make a difference and bring this disease to the forefront. The money raised allows our chapter to contribute to research to find a cure. These funds also help support programs and services that advance accurate and timely diagnosis of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In addition, money raised ensures significant increases to affordable, high-quality care and support for people with the disease and their caretakers. Help us break the silence and start the conversation. Join us, along with thousands of others in your community, at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Register today at www.alz.org/ walk or call our Helpline, available 24 hours, seven days a week, at (800) 272-3900. Local walks include: Saturday, Sept. 16 City Island, Harrisburg Registration at 9 a.m. Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 Clipper Magazine Stadium, Lancaster Registration at 9 a.m. Walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 John Rudy Park, York Registration at 9 a.m. Walk at 10 a.m.

More Americans Taking Advantage of Technology The digital revolution continues gaining ground, according to the Pew Research Center. Seventy-seven percent of Americans own a smartphone, a figure that’s almost doubled since Pew began tracking smartphone ownership in 2011. Similarly, broadband access is on an upswing, with home broadband

service rising 6 percent in 2016 (after a slight decline from 2013 to 2015). In November 2016, nearly threequarters (73 percent) of Americans reported having broadband service. Finally, 69 percent of U.S. adults are using social media, especially young people—86 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds are on at least one social media platform. www.50plusLifePA.com


Savvy Senior

Finding Help for Seniors Addicted to Opioids Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior, I’m worried about my 72-year-old mother, who has been taking the opioid medication Vicodin for her hip and back pain for more than a year. I fear she’s becoming addicted to the drug, but I don’t know what to do. – Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, The opioid epidemic is a national problem that is hitting people of all ages, including millions of older Americans. Here’s what you should know and do to help your mother. The Cause The main reason opioid addiction has become such a problem for people over age 50 is because over the past two decades, opioids have become a commonly prescribed (and often overprescribed) medication by doctors for all different types of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, neurological diseases, and other illnesses that become more common later in life. Nearly one-third of all Medicare patients—almost 12 million people— were prescribed opioid painkillers by their physicians in 2015. That same year, 2.7 million Americans over age 50 abused painkillers. Taken as directed, opioids can manage pain effectively when used for a short amount of time. But with longterm use, people need to be screened

and monitored because around 5 percent of those treated will develop an addiction disorder and abuse the drugs. Signs of Addiction Your mother may be addicted to opioids if she can’t stop herself from taking the drug and if her tolerance continues to go up. She may also be addicted if she keeps using opioids without her doctor’s consent, even if it’s causing her problems with her health, money, family, or friends. If you think your mom is addicted, ask her to see a doctor for an evaluation. Go to the family or prescribing physician or find a specialist through the American Society of Addiction Medicine (www. asam.org) or the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (www.aaap.org). It’s also important to be positive and encouraging. Addiction is a medical matter, not a character flaw. Repeated use of opioids actually changes the brain. Treatments Treatment for opioid addiction is different for each person, but the main

opportunities Make a Volunteer for Seniors 55+ throughout Difference Lebanon County, with non-profits, agencies Volunteer schools, and community Today service organizations.

depression, avoid the drug, deal with cravings, and heal damaged relationships. For assistance, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration confidential helpline at (800) 662-4357 or see www.samhsa. gov. They can connect you with treatment services in your state that can help your mom. Also, if you find that your mom has a doctor who prescribes opioids in excess or without legitimate reason, you should report him or her to your state medical board, which licenses physicians. For contact information, visit www.fsmb.org. Jim Miller is a regular contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior Book. www.savvysenior.org

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Please call for an appointment: (717) 274-9775 927 Russell Drive, Lebanon, PA 17042

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Contact for further information: 717.454.8647

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goal is to help your mom stop using the drug and avoid using it again in the future. To help her stop using the drug, her doctor can prescribe certain medicines to help relieve her withdrawal symptoms and control her cravings. These medicines include methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction), buprenorphine, and naltrexone. After detox, behavioral treatments—such as individual counseling, group or family counseling, and cognitive therapy— can help her learn to manage

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Parenting 2.0: The Evolving Role of Grandparents By Natasha Shane

Technology is also advancing so rapidly that it’s difficult for those who aren’t fully immersed in it to keep up. Schoolchildren have grown up in this technology culture, and it creates a large gap between them and older generations who haven’t adapted to the change. For some grandparents, it can be embarrassing and frustrating when they don’t know things related to technology and curriculum topics. It’s even harder when they don’t feel they can reach out for help. Supporting a school-aged child takes a lot of time and energy. It also requires a lot of engagement on the grandparent’s part. Here are five tips to help you navigate this year’s back-to-school season and help your grandchildren have the best school year yet.

Over the last decade, more and more grandparents have taken on the responsibility of raising their children’s children. For many today, the notion of spoiling their grandchildren for a few hours and then “giving them back” just isn’t a reality. According to AARP, there are more than 2.5 million grandparents raising grandchildren in the United States. In Pennsylvania, nearly 240,000 children under age 18 live in homes where the householders (caregivers) are grandparents or other relatives. Grandparents are not only providing for Sept. 10 is National Grandparents Day their grandchildren’s day-to-day needs, but they are also playing a bigger role in their 1. Engage with your grandchildren and education than ever before, which means their teachers. Interact with your student and familiarize yourself with what learning new technologies and communication tools. It also means becoming they’re learning. their grandchild’s learning coach and mentor. It’s also important to have an open line of communication with your For some, communicating with teachers doesn’t come naturally. Many student’s teachers. This will make it easier to help your student stay on top of grandparents raised children at a time when there wasn’t a lot of direct assignments and spot when they fall behind. communication with teachers other than periodic parent-teacher conferences. Nowadays, teachers are emailing daily; we can receive information about our 2. Look into any school programs that assist your grandchildren while children’s test scores and behavior patterns in real time.

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Local Liaisons We want to include your neighborhood news in 50plus LIFE— but we need your help! We’re looking for volunteers to serve as our designated Local Liaisons in Central Pennsylvania. If you seem to always know what’s happening in your community and would be willing to send us brief stories, event info, and photos, email mjoyce@onlinepub.com for more information.

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21st Annual

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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LANCASTER COUNTY

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Sept. 28, 2017

15th Annual

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Sept. 21, 2017

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York Expo Center

YORK COUNTY

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Oct. 19, 2017

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they’re at home. Some schools offer classes that give parents and grandparents tools to support their students with math strategies, the writing process, and note taking and test taking, among other skills. 3. Keep technology skills sharp or learn new ones by taking advantage of technology support sessions or classes. Students today are immersed in technology that advances more quickly than ever before. It’s important to understand how your students are using technology such as email, social media, and tools like DropBox to help them maximize their benefits, as well as to keep them safe online. There are often resources available at community centers or local

colleges if your school doesn’t offer this support. 4. Take advantage of your school’s mentoring support. Mentors are fantastic resources with a wealth of knowledge and practical advice to share. They can provide tips on how best to help the students in your life succeed in and out of the classroom. 5. Take a deep breath. It can be overwhelming to stay on top of new technology and the new ways in which some subjects are taught.  Natasha Shane is a family involvement manager at Commonwealth Charter Academy, a Pennsylvania public cyber charter school with year-round open enrollment. For more information, please visit www.ccaeducate.me.

You’re not jus t a business. n a t s u j t o n You’re . n o i t a z i n a g r o You’re a resource. You provide valuable services to seniors, the disabled, caregivers, and their families. Help them find you by being included in your county’s most comprehensive annual directory of resources.

Volunteer Spotlight Lebanon Woman Serves Community as Both Nurse and Volunteer Baxter Laboratories. The Lebanon County RSVP Volunteer of the Cruz moved from Puerto Rico in 2002 Month for September is to live in Lebanon. She Yolanda Cruz, who has volunteered extensively is blessed to have two daughters, a son, and through RSVP with the five grandchildren. Cruz Salvation Army and the has also been employed American Red Cross. as a nurse assistant Cruz has served for 13 years with the (LPN) with the Lebanon School District. Salvation Army and Yolanda Cruz one year with the Red Cruz’s greatest reward as a volunteer is that she Cross, serving meals enjoys helping others. For her, every and assisting with a multitude of day she experiences new history and community-wide projects. memories as a volunteer. Cruz grew up in Puerto Rico, in the western shore city of If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Mayaguez. It was there that she began volunteering at a hospital RSVP, please contact Margie Groy, Lebanon coordinator, at (717) 454in the 1970s. She was employed in healthcare as a practical nurse for 8647 or lancleb@rsvpcapreg.org. seven years and for 19 years with Do you know a 50+ volunteer who gives selflessly to others? Tell us what makes him or her so special and we will consider them for 50plus LIFE’s Volunteer Spotlight! Submissions should be 200 words or fewer and photos are encouraged. Email preferred to mjoyce@onlinepub.com or mail nominations to 50plus LIFE, Volunteer Spotlight, 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512.

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Kickstarting the Fast Food Nation By Randal C. Hill

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bought cheap land downtown, erected a new facility, and expanded their menu. The Great Depression strangled Times were great for the next seven the economies of many of American years. McDonald’s became the “in” cities, including Manchester, New spot in town, with teenage cruisers Hampshire, the hometown of the often filling the 125 parking spaces. McDonald brothers. However, the kids tended to loiter, Determined to do better than their make noise, spend little money, factory-worker father, Richard (born and keep adult 1909) and customers away. Maurice “Mac” The brothers (born 1902) wanted to attract McDonald families more set off for Los than rowdy Angeles in the adolescents. late 1920s, their They shut down sights set on their business the burgeoning and planned a movie industry. new approach. Each was Receipt armed with records showed a high school that, while diploma and McDonald’s a desire to offered over two become a By the late 1990s, McDonald’s dozen menu millionaire by claimed to be opening a new store items (including age 50. somewhere in the world every tamales, chili, They three hours. and peanut landed jobs butter and jelly at Columbia sandwiches), about 80 percent of their Studios, where they pushed around sales came from burgers, as well as movie sets and props. They worked hard, saved their money, and rented a side orders and soft drinks. So the pair decided to reopen with small movie theater. After four years, a new concept: sell only the highthough, they had yet to see a profit. volume items most customers wanted, “It was the Depression,” Richard offering people tasty food at low McDonald said. “There wasn’t much prices. And they would make some money around.” other changes, too. Big changes. Yet one drive-in neighbor was Really big changes. doing well. Richard and Mac McDonald “Wiley’s Root Beer Stand was one of the few businesses in town that was opened for business again in December 1948 to an initially taking in any real cash,” McDonald befuddled clientele. Gone were the said. “That’s why we got into the carhops, as well as the jukeboxes, drive-in business.” cigarette vending machines, pay The brothers opened McDonald’s, phones, and newspaper racks. a small hot dog stand, in nearby Paper wrappings and cups replaced Pasadena. Staffed by comely teenage silverware and plates that required carhops, their new venture proved dishwashing. profitable. With no indoor seating, customers But the brothers saw the rapidly now had to line up at service growing blue-collar town of San windows, where spotlessly uniformed Bernardino—50 miles east—as and smiling young men dispensed offering greater potential. In 1940, food items and took cash, often in they moved their operations there, www.50plusLifePA.com


less than a minute. Taking a cue from Henry Ford’s groundbreaking assembly-line idea, the McDonald brothers had developed the “Speedee Service System.” Food was now prepared ahead of time in a mechanized kitchen manned by a 12-person crew, each member repeatedly doing one specific task. The most common window order was a burger that included ketchup, mustard, two pickles and a sprinkling of chopped onion. Each came wrapped in paper and was kept warm by heat lamps. The price for each was 15 cents (4 cents extra for a cheeseburger). Milkshakes cost 20 cents, fries and sodas were a dime each, coffee a nickel. Now even the poorest of families could enjoy an occasional meal out. The fast food business had been born. Many McDonald’s customers weren’t ready for the abrupt and unique changes. Some folks drove off when no carhops appeared. Others

complained about the new procedure or the limited menu or that the food was already prepared. Business dropped in half. “We almost threw in the towel,” Richard McDonald once admitted. “People said we were cuckoo. Nobody wanted to wait on themselves or throw away their own trash.” But the brothers hung tough, and ultimately customers came around. Did they ever! It seemed that every hungry San Bernardinoan drove to McDonald’s on busy North E Street. Sometimes window lines numbered 200 hungry folks at once. By 1953, the brothers were raking in $300,000 annually and claiming a net profit of $100,000. They became among the richest people in San Bernardino. Richard McDonald, his wife, and the still-single Mac McDonald lived together in splendor in a sprawling 25-room mansion with a tennis court. Each year they bought three new Cadillacs. When the Carnation Corporation offered to develop a national chain

Coffee More Popular than Ever For more and more people, a morning cup of coffee is part of starting the day off right. According to a National Coffee Drinking Trends consumer survey, the number of Americans drinking coffee daily has increased to 62 percent, up from 57 percent in 2016. The biggest increase is in the 1318 age bracket. Their daily coffee habit climbed to 37 percent in 2017, www.50plusLifePA.com

up from 31 percent in 2016. Adults ages 18-24 increased their coffee habit from 48 to 50 percent, and 63 percent of adults 25-39 drank more, up from 60 percent. Sixty-four percent of Americans 40-59 drink a daily cup of joe, up from 53 percent last year. The 60plus crowed moved to 68 percent in 2017 from 64 percent the previous year.

with them, the brothers said no. But the idea inspired the McDonald brothers to consider franchising. Richard McDonald set about changing the store’s look, replacing the old octagonal McDonald’s building with a modern, eye-catching design that featured the soon-tobecome-iconic Golden Arches. Then the franchising idea faded … for the time being. One day in 1954, a Chicago milkshake-mixer salesman named Ray Kroc showed up in San Bernardino. He wanted to find out why the McDonald brothers had ordered eight of his Multimixer machines—capable of whipping up 48 creamy shakes at once—for only one location. Quickly sensing a potential business goldmine, Kroc bought the rights to franchise the brothers’ restaurant nationwide. Ray Kroc, a high school dropout, opened his first McDonald’s in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. A mere six years later, he bought out the brothers for $2.7 million in cash. Richard and Mac McDonald kept

their San Bernardino business going, though, renaming it “Big M.” Kroc retaliated by opening a McDonald’s nearby and driving the brothers out of business. Anyone who knew the hard-driven Kroc probably wasn’t surprised. He once said of his business rivals, “If any of my competition were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water.” Numerous feuds ensued, which drove many a stake between the aggressive Ray Kroc and the company’s more mellow founders. For a while, Kroc called his Des Plaines location the “original” McDonald’s and opened new stores with wall plaques that featured his likeness and an obviously hyperbolic description of how “his vision, persistence, and leadership have guided McDonald’s from one location in Des Plaines, Illinois, to the world’s community restaurant.” Really, Mr. Kroc? Randal C. Hill is a rock ’n’ roll historian who lives at the Oregon coast. He may be reached at wryterhill@msn.com.

Stories of ordinary men and women called to perform extraordinary military service. From 1999–2016, writer and World War II veteran Col. Robert D. Wilcox preserved the firsthand wartime experiences of more than 200 veterans through Salute to a Veteran, his monthly column featured in 50plus LIFE. Now, for the first time, 50 of those stories— selected by Wilcox himself—are available to own in this soft-cover book.

Simply complete and mail this form with your payment to the address below to order Salute to Our Veterans. On-Line Publishers • 3912 Abel Drive, Columbia, PA 17512 Name_ _______________________________________________________ Address_ ______________________________________________________ City_______________________________ State_ ____ Zip_ ______________ Phone_ _____________________ Email______________________________ Number of copies_ ______ (Please include $20.80 for each copy) Credit card #______________________________________ Exp. date________ Signature of cardholder_________________________________CVV #________

Or send a check made payable to On-Line Publishers, Inc. You can also order online at www.50plusLIFEpa.com! 50plus LIFE p

September 2017

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Calendar of Events

Lebanon County

Community Programs/Support Groups Free and open to the public

Senior Center Activities

Sept. 9, 6-7 p.m. Concert: Brothers in Grace Hill Farm Estate 200 Kauffman Road, Annville (717) 867-5176

Annville Senior Activity Center – (717) 867-1796 200 S. White Oak St., Annville Sept. 5, 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast Bunch Meeting at the Hearth Sept. 13, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Celebrating National Senior Center Day at MSSCC Sept. 19, 11 a.m. – Movie Day with Ice Cream Sodas

Sept. 27, 6-7 p.m. Alzheimer’s and Dementia Family Support Group Linden Village 100 Tuck Court, Lebanon (717) 274-7400

Library Programs Annville Free Library, 216 E. Main St., Annville, (717) 867-1802 Tuesdays, 6:15 p.m. – AFL Knitters Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m. – Adult Coloring Club Lebanon Community Library, 125 N. Seventh St., (717) 273-7624 Matthews Public Library, 102 W. Main St., Fredericksburg, (717) 865-5523 Myerstown Community Library, 199 N. College St., Myerstown, (717) 866-2800 Palmyra Public Library, 325 S. Railroad St., (717) 838-1347 Richland Community Library, 111 E. Main St., Richland, (717) 866-4939

parks and recreation All events held at the Park at Governor Dick unless noted. Sept. 3, 8 a.m. – Fitness Hike Sept. 9, 9-11 a.m. – Second Saturday Volunteer Work Day Sept. 13, 10:30 a.m. – Wednesday Wings & Things Nature Walk

Public Invited to Senior Center Day Festivities Come join the Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging and its five senior centers as they celebrate Senior Center Day/Month from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 710 Maple St., Lebanon. There will be free food, door prizes, interactive programs, information on the programs held at Lebanon’s five senior centers, and live music. There will also be ongoing, guided tours of the center/building. No reservations are required; interested persons may drop in and participate in as many or as few programs as they wish. Activities and their locations and times include: • Pickleball, auditorium – 8:30-9 a.m. • LA Blast, dining room – 9:15-9:45 a.m. • Line dancing, dining room – 10-10:30 a.m. • Penny bingo, activity room (basement floor) – 10-11:30 a.m. • Snacks, dining room – 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Strength & Stretch, dining room – 10:45-11:15 a.m. • Country heat dancing, dining room – 11:30 a.m. to noon • Family Feud, library – 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. • Toning w/weights, dining room – 12:15-12:45 p.m. • “It’s a Ball” class, dining room – 1-1:30 p.m. • Band Together, library – 1-1:45 p.m. • Entertainment, “Machine Gun Kelly,” auditorium – 1:30-3 p.m. • Yoga, library – 2-2:30 p.m. For more information, call Lebanon Area Agency on Aging at (717) 273-9262.

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Maple Street Senior Community Center – (717) 273-1048 710 Maple St., Lebanon Sept. 6, 11 a.m. – Carpool to Olive Garden Restaurant Sept. 13 – All Senior Center Event Day Sept. 15, 11 a.m. – Women’s Awareness Luncheon Myerstown Senior Community Center – (717) 866-6786 Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 Ramona Road, Myerstown Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m. – Senior Center Day at Lebanon Senior Center Sept. 27, 7:45 a.m. – Breakfast Club at Cedar Grill Sept. 29, noon – Everybody’s Birthday Party at the Lantern Lodge Northern Lebanon Senior Community Center – (717) 865-0944 335 N. Lancaster St., Jonestown – www.jonestownpa.org/senior.html Sept. 6, 11:30 a.m. – Lunch and a Movie Sept. 8 and 15, 10 a.m. – Healthy You Sept. 21, 10 a.m. – Acey-Deucey Palmyra Senior Community Center – (717) 838-8237 101 S. Railroad St., Palmyra Sept. 11, 10:30 a.m. – Patriotic Show & Tell Sept. 19, 10:30 a.m. – “Affluenza” Discussion Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. – Fall Potluck Picnic and Visualized Music Privately Owned Centers Senior Center of Lebanon Valley, Inc. – (717) 274-3451 710 Maple St., Lebanon Washington Arms – (717) 274-1401 303 Chestnut St., Lebanon Just a snippet of what you may be missing … please call or visit their website for more information. www.50plusLifePA.com


Puzzle Page

CROSSWORD

Solutions for all puzzles can be found on page 16

Across SUDOKU

1. Stigma 6. Vitriols 11. Prayer word 14. Get up 15. Inert gas 16. Modern 17. Wyoming park 19. Compass pt. 20. Negatively charged particle 21. More spooky 23. Sod 26. Mosquito 28. Wanders

29. Retired 30. Burst 32. Via 33. Baseball’s Doubleday 36. Wave rider 38. Annex 39. Actress Ruby or Sandra 41. Digit 42. Distress call 45. Fears 48. Pour 50. Sp. girl 51. Golf item 52. Cookie

53. Use up 55. Scruff 58. ___ Breckinridge 59. Adhesives 61. Witchcraft trials locale 63. Conjunctions 64. Some cartoons 69. Shoshonean 70. Dwelling 71. Coral reef 72. Small indefinite amount 73. Chordophones 74. Disreputable

22. Lasso 23. Path 24. Garden offspring 25. Looking good! 27. Tipster 31. Goad 34. Lyric poem 35. Cool! 37. Fixed charge 40. Promised land 43. Ace 44. Gr. Portico 46. Lease 47. Coastal

49. Travel back and forth 50. Ancient Greek city 53. Gush 54. Transfer paper 56. Strides 57. High note 60. Jungle boy 62. Gr. letters 65. Decompose 66. Fish eggs 67. Time of life (poet.) 68. Cunning

Down 1. Utter 2. Three (It.) 3. Suffer 4. Azores, e.g. 5. Sign gas 6. Incendiarism 7. Snoozes 8. Vow words 9. Finished 10. Express contempt 11. Special date 12. Ornamental coating 13. Pitchers 18. Peruke

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September 2017

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The Green Mountain Gardener

Dr. Leonard Perry

Gardening Questions You Might Ask in September

This month, many gardeners ask these three questions. What are some good fall flowers other than garden mums? Garden mums are the standard fall flower for color. In the colder parts of our region, they should be called fall mums rather than hardy mums, as most won’t survive consistently from year to year. Flowers that are perennial, and will survive and provide fall color, include Helen’s flower (Helenium) and fall asters. You may find Helen’s flower called sneezeweed, but it is the ragweed, not this flower, that causes fall allergies. There are many types of asters, from low hybrids suitable for containers to the tall New England asters (3-4 feet tall). There are some great cultivars (cultivated varieties) of goldenrod you might consider as well. These do not even resemble the common wild ones, and as with the Helen’s flower, they do not cause allergies. For annual flowers for fall, consider some of the many ornamental kales and cabbages with white to purple foliage. You may also find potted pansies and other annuals that will tolerate a light frost.

Puzzle Solutions

How do you overwinter tender dahlias and gladiolus?

Dr. Lois Berg Stack, of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, recommends cutting dahlia stems back to 1 foot high just before a hard frost. Remove root clumps from the ground, digging wide and deep to avoid damage. Gently tap off the soil, and then allow the clumps to dry for a few hours before packing into sand or dry vermiculite in a paper bag. Store cool (35-40 F) and dry over winter. Check roots monthly, and add water only if they are shriveling badly. In spring, cut apart the tuberous roots when they sprout, making sure each piece has a new sprout on it. Pot them or plant directly in the garden.

September 2017

How do you collect seed for next year from this year’s flowers? Most herbs and a number of annual and perennial flowering plants are good choices for seed collecting in the fall, according to Margaret Hagen of the University of New Hampshire

Dr. Leonard P. Perry is an extension professor at the University of Vermont.

Visit Our Website At:

Puzzles shown on page 15

16

For gladiolus in the fall, allow them to grow at least six weeks after flowering. They can receive some heavy frosts. Then lift carefully with a garden fork, shake off soil, and allow the corms (rounded bases similar to bulbs) to dry for a few days. Store cool and dry as with dahlias, only in paper bags, trays, or boxes.

Cooperative Extension. Any plant that is a true botanical species—one that is not produced by commercial hybridization and extensive selection—can be grown again from seed from the parent plant. Keep in mind that many annual flowers are hybrids, so they won’t come true (offspring won’t resemble parents) from seed. Neither will perennial cultivars (cultivated varieties) closely resemble their parents in many cases. During the fall you can collect seed from dill, thyme, basil, bachelor buttons, lavender, hollyhocks (these often cross too), cosmos, some snapdragons, many wildflowers, and others. If seeds are borne in a flower head, cut off the seed stalks just before the seeds are dry and start to scatter. Dry the stalk, and then rub or shake the seeds off into a bag for storage. If the seeds are in a pod-like structure, allow the pods to turn brown before harvesting. Dry the pods in a warm, dry site and then shell as you would peas. Label and store seeds in a cool, dry place, such as airtight jars in a refrigerator.

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September 2017

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Soldier Stories

Robert Naeye

Local Vet Still Carries Vietnam on His Shoulder

Candidate percent of the School and class washed out.” headed for After Fort Benning, graduating Georgia. “They from OCS as a 2nd lieutenant, warned us that OCS would be Snyder wanted the toughest to become an challenge we Army Ranger, had in our life,” so he was sent recalls Snyder. to jump school. He spent the But he was later next six months transferred to Jay Snyder today at his home. doing pushups, an airborne doing chin ups, cavalry unit. and being yelled at constantly. He continued his parachute “The Army’s theory is that they training, which paid an extra $110 per have to break you down to build you month — a lot of money in the midback up,” says Snyder. “It was a pretty ’60s. tough six months, and about 60 “If I was going into combat, I wanted to go with the guys who were volunteers, who were well trained, advertisement who were there because they wanted to be part of that unit. And that’s what I got in an airborne unit,” says Snyder, who adds that his training prepared him to be a soldier, but “I If you want a funeral with an expensive casket don’t think anything can prepare you for the reality of combat.” and embalming, go to a funeral home! In July 1965, President Lyndon If you are interested in affordable cremation services, Johnson ordered Snyder’s cavalry we are the name to remember! division to Vietnam. On Aug. 15 they We specialize in cremation only, statewide, no removal fees. departed aboard a transport ship, No Embalming No Caskets the USNS Geiger, from Savannah, Georgia. After passing through the Panama Canal and stopping in Hawaii and Guam, they landed in mid-September serving all of Lebanon county since 1981 in Qui Nhon, in central Vietnam. Largest in the state of PA Snyder and his men expected to For FREE brochures and pricing, call: land in a hostile environment, with 1-800-720-8221 (toll-free) or mail us ... enemy soldiers shooting at them as they got off the boat. Instead, they Please send me FREE were greeted by TV cameras and brochures and pricing! signs saying “Welcome to Jones Beach www.cremationsocietyofpa.com East.” “So much for landing under fire,” Name______________________________________________________ jokes Snyder. Address____________________________________________________ But his unit soon got down _______________________________ Phone ( )_________________ to business. They were flown by Chinook helicopters to a base camp 4100 Jonestown Rd., Hbg., PA 17109 Code LebSN Shawn E. Carper, Supervisor in the Central Highlands. For

Jay Snyder’s war ended 51 years ago. But after retiring from a distinguished career working for the Pennsylvania state government and as the leading tennis official in the United States, the war now seems as close as it’s been since he left Vietnam in 1966. Snyder was a minister’s son, so he frequently moved as he was growing up. His father was working in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, when Snyder finished high school, so he attended nearby Susquehanna University and graduated in 1964. Realizing he had a very low draft number, Snyder decided to enlist in the Army. When the Army recruiter pointed out that he’d have a better life as an officer than as an enlisted man, Snyder signed up for Officer

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nearly a month the duty was mostly uneventful, with occasional mortar rounds being lobbed into the base. Snyder’s unit went on patrols to chase away the attackers. Snyder’s first battle took place in the Suoi Ca Valley. Snyder and his company of about 110 men spent a couple days on search-and-destroy missions, going into villages to look for signs of enemy activity. The men destroyed a number of rice caches used by the Vietcong, but Snyder insists, “We did not burn rice that belonged to villagers.” The men received sporadic gunfire but suffered no casualties. They spent the night in rice paddies, where they encountered one of their most annoying enemies — leeches — which came out of the ground in heavy rain. “We found out pretty quickly that they’re not nice beasts,” says Snyder. Like all soldiers, Snyder relished each mail delivery. Besides receiving letters from family and friends, he started corresponding with a woman named Jeanne, who was his sister’s college roommate. What started out as “a fake romance” would later blossom into a 50-year marriage that’s still going strong. Snyder’s unit was later flown by chopper into the Pleiku Campaign, which lasted from late October to late November 1965. Despite heavy fighting all around them, Snyder and his men at first saw very little combat. “For whatever reason, the North Vietnamese chose not to engage us,” he says. “We were all walking on eggshells, thinking they’re going to hit us any second now, and they didn’t.” Up to that point in the war, Snyder and his men were lucky to avoid casualties. But they didn’t stay lucky. In January 1966, Snyder was leading a patrol near the village of Bong Son. A captain radioed Snyder to move faster so his platoon of about 25 men could rendezvous with other units. “We were in a combination of www.50plusLifePA.com


jungle and open area, and it just didn’t feel right to keep moving faster. I took point and I walked my platoon right into an ambush,” recalls Snyder. Vietcong guerillas peppered the men with rifle fire, killing one man. Another died when his grenade exploded in his hand. Several other Americans were wounded. Snyder radioed for artillery support, which drove off the attackers after about nine minutes of intense combat. “The shrapnel would go off over our heads,” recalls Snyder. “It sounded like a freight train driving over your head.” After some R&R in Bangkok, Thailand, Snyder flew into another battle in a helicopter and nearly died when the helicopter was hit with a 50-caliber round and landed hard. Five weeks later, Snyder and his unit were moving up a mountain when they were nearly surrounded by Vietcong. Outnumbered in heavy jungle, the men resorted to a tactic known as a “mad minute” — with everyone opening fire for about a minute. “The mad minute saved us,” says Snyder. Several of his men died in the battle. Snyder received shrapnel wounds in his left shoulder and buttocks from mortar fire but remained in the fight until the enemy fled. Snyder had to wait a full day before he could be medevacked by chopper. He spent three weeks in the 85th Evacuation Hospital at Qui Nhon. An infection developed, so he was flown to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and then to the U.S. Fortunately, he made a full recovery at Valley Forge Hospital outside Philadelphia, but a fragment lodged in his left shoulder still causes pain whenever the weather changes rapidly. He met Jeanne there in person soon after his return, and they got married in August 1967, about two months after he left the Army. Snyder took management training and went on to a distinguished career working for several state agencies. He spent much of his spare time working as a tennis umpire, and in 1990, he was promoted to www.50plusLifePA.com

U.S. director of officiating. He umpired matches involving all the top men’s and women’s players, including the 1993 Wimbledon semifinal between Andre Agassi and John McEnroe. Like many umpires, he incurred the wrath of volatile players such as McEnroe and Jimmy Connors. But he later became good friends with McEnroe, whom Snyder credits for being an honest competitor. He and Jeanne adopted a Vietnamese son, and they now have three grandchildren. They have visited Vietnam twice, and Snyder has been deeply impressed by how the people have welcomed their former adversary, and how a united Vietnam has recovered from the devastation of war. During these years of constant activity, Snyder was able to put his war experiences in the rearview mirror. He even boxed up all his medals and put them in a barn. “I got over my experiences in Vietnam by working my butt off,” he says. But once he retired, painful memories rose to the surface. “Vietnam has always been with me,” says Snyder. “It took a while for me to realize that PTSD was something I needed to face up to.” To this day Snyder regrets the men he lost when he led his company into an ambush, but he’s not sure what he could have done differently. “You’re responsible for those lives, and you can’t ignore that. I can’t explain how difficult that is, how your decisions cost somebody their life. I just kept that way in the background.” Snyder has received professional help, including group therapy. And he has started writing about his war experiences as part of a veteran’s writing project, which has been a cathartic experience. Snyder, now 75, occasionally shares his Vietnam experiences in public talks, including one in June 2017 in Centre County. You can hear his story by visiting https://goo.gl/ Fy1M4g. Robert Naeye is a freelance journalist living in Derry Township. He is the former editor-in-chief of Sky & Telescope magazine.

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September 2017

19


Stroke Symposium

Learn about risks, prevention, treatment and what to do when stroke occurs. Date: Saturday, October 14 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ZĞŐŝƐƚƌĂƟŽŶƌĞƋƵŝƌĞĚ͗ (717) 270-7764 >ŽĐĂƟŽŶ͗ WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, Classrooms 1 & 2 ϵ͗ϬϬͲϵ͗ϭϱĂ͘ŵ͘ – Welcome/Overview, Tom Harlow, President, WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital ϵ͗ϭϱͲϭϬ͗ϬϬĂ͘ŵ͘ – “Time is Brain (Call EMS)” presented by WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital and First Aid and Safety Patrol ϭϬ͗ϭϱͲϭϭ͗ϬϬĂ͘ŵ͘ʹ͞ƚƌŝĂů&ŝďƌŝůůĂƟŽŶ ĂŶĚŝƚƐŽŶŶĞĐƟŽŶƚŽ^ƚƌŽŬĞƐǁŝƚŚ Unknown Causes” presented by Cathleen Adams DO, Penn State Hershey Medical Center Neurology ϭϭ͗ϭϱĂ͘ŵ͘ͲϭϮ͗ϬϬƉ͘ŵ͘ – “When Good Pipes Go Bad: Select Stroke Cases from ŽƵƌWĂƟĞŶƚWŽƉƵůĂƟŽŶ͟ƉƌĞƐĞŶƚĞĚ by Robert Sterling Jr. MD, WellSpan Neurology

The Paul F. Dixon Stroke Center

50plus LIFE Lebanon County September 2017  

50plus LIFE — formerly 50plus Senior News — is a monthly publication for and about Central Pennsylvania’s baby boomers and seniors, offering...