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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Oldest Veteran at DeBakey VA Celebrates 95th Birthday

June 4, 2008

WHEN: Friday, June 6, 2008, 2-3 p.m.
WHERE: 2nd Floor, Nursing Unit 2C Dining Room
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, Texas 77030
WHAT: The MEDVAMC will celebrate the 95th birthday of World War II veteran Theodore Kopycinski on Friday, June 6, 2008 at 2 p.m.

Born on June 7, 1913 in Chappel Hill, Texas, World War II veteran Theodore Kopycinski enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 1, 1941 and received basic training at Camp Bowie, Texas. A member of the 1st Ranger Battalion, he was involved in the U.S. military invasion of Africa and Sicily, and fought in the 18-day defense of Chiunzi Pass against Nazi forces under Herman Goering. Severely wounded in battle on September 24, 1943, he was evacuated to Africa. For his brave service to his country, Sergeant Kopycinski was awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, the American Service Medal, and a Combat Infantry Badge. He currently is a resident of the DeBakey VA Community Living Center.

June 6 is the 64th anniversary of D-Day. In 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed on a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion. By day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot-hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high – more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but more than 100,000 soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

VA health care benefits provide for a range of long-term care services including nursing home care, domiciliary care, adult day health care, geriatric evaluation, and respite care. For more information on VA programs for aging and chronically ill veterans, visit

The goal of nursing home care at the MEDVAMC is to restore the resident to maximum function, prevent further decline, maximize independence, and/or provide palliative care when necessary.  Any veteran who has a service-connected disability rated at 70 percent or more qualifies for nursing home care. A veteran whose service-connected disability is clinically determined to require nursing home care also qualifies. Care is provided in a VA nursing home or contract nursing home. VA may provide nursing home care to other veterans if space and resources are available.  In fiscal year 2007, the MEDVAMC had 243 admissions to its Community Living Center.

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