They see us through our country’s darkest times. They leap from planes, march through deserts, drive through minefields, sail through storms and travel to the world’s most dangerous places to face the unknown. When we read about our veterans in the newspapers and hear about them on television, this is what we hear about. But when we dive deeper, past their heroism on the front lines and into their everyday lives, we often discover that these men and women serve us both in and out of uniform.
At 17 years old, Arthur Pogosoff went to school during the day and worked in the steel mills where he made $1.10 an hour. During WWII, he joined the state guard, then the National Guard. When the Korean War broke out, he joined the army. For 5 years, he bravely served our country.
Afterwards, he went to college and received his degree in English Literature. It was there, on an exceptionally rainy day in 1953 that he met Mary Lou and offered her a ride home. She accepted. Every day after that he continued to offer her a ride, and she continued to accept. Eventually, she also accepted his marriage proposal, which was made on a walk around campus, right as they were passing a jewelry store.
With his degree in one hand and the love of his life in the other, he continued to serve our country, just in a slightly different way. For 40 years, Arthur taught advanced grammar, speech, composition writing and research paper writing at the high school level in East Chicago, shaping the young minds whose freedom he had helped to preserve through his military service.
In addition to being a teacher, Arthur went on to serve as a husband, a father, and eventually, a grandfather of two beautiful little girls. When he came to us for rehab, physically weak but strong in spirit, we knew it was our turn to serve him. We’ll let him tell you how it went.
“Well, I came in on a stretcher. The doctors had just told my wife the week before that they didn’t think I was going to make it. I was so weak I couldn’t even pick up a can of soda. I literally learned to walk again while staying here, and I’m about to walk out of here by myself, so that’s been very memorable! I’ve made a ton of friends here - staff and residents alike. I’m going to miss our chats and the cheerful, positive attitudes. I’m really gonna miss the popcorn at Happy Hour, too!”
It was an honor to help Arthur get back on his feet, just as it is an honor to serve every person who walks through our doors, especially our veterans. This Veterans Day, we ask that you thank a veteran not only for what they’ve done during their service, but for what they do every day to continue to serve. And whether it’s something big or even something small, we ask that you make it a point to return the favor.