Charleston Regional Business Journal
By Ashley Heffernan
August 18, 2016
“I didn’t know we were going to fall in love with him so (much) and the kids would. We thought we’d be taking care of somebody, but he’s just one of us now.” Lacresha Cromwell
Harry Vaughan enjoys watching television with the Cromwell family, especially Western films with 10-year-old Ashlyn Cromwell.Harry Vaughan joined the military because it was his “brother duty.”
The 76-year-old, who grew up in Virginia, entered the Army in 1959 to be near his older brother. Two years in and “tired of walking,” he left the Army and joined the Navy to take care of his younger brother. They both served on the USS Valley Forge aircraft carrier, and Vaughan went on to spend a year sweeping rivers in Vietnam for mines.
After 22 years in the Navy, Vaughan transitioned to a career as a fence builder in North Charleston. But when his memory started deteriorating and doctors gave him a diagnosis of dementia, Vaughan moved into Agape Senior, an assisted living facility in North Charleston.
As of 2014, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reported nearly 130,000 Vietnam veterans were living in South Carolina, bringing in a median personal income of $34,436. About 62% of those veterans were between the ages of 65 and 74, while 9% were 75 or older.
Long-term-care costs can quickly eat into a veteran’s income.
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