To permanently honor aging military veterans, it is critical to tell their life stories. The life story of PN1 Eva Binns was the first pilot study to gauge the success of identifying such vital knowledge to future doctors, nurses, social workers, and caregivers to solve this health care crisis. The results of the PN1 Eva Binns Life Story study, and additional pilot studies, proved impressive. The identification of significant knowledge gaps in the education of healthcare workers and recognizing documenting the life stories of veterans affects all areas of the education system. Below is the list of accomplishment thus far:
Thank you, Kari Smith, and SweetSong Nashville, for creating the song “Forgotten”. In 2017, there is no excuse for an Elderly WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or any Veteran to be forgotten and die alone. Furthermore, the remains of tens of thousands of veterans, and civilians, are going unclaimed in morgues, funeral homes, and cemeteries throughout the United States. Along with elderly veterans dying alone, these problems have become a national crisis. I believe Kari Smith’s new song “Forgotten” will help ensure problems in the Veteran Community are known and solved. “Forgotten” is most likely the first song to build awareness of these issues. The song “Forgotten” written and recorded by Kari Smith brings attention to the issues of elderly veterans dying alone and their remains going unclaimed.
Deborah Riccardi, Professor, Art Department, Bucks County Community College (BCCC), took a proactive leadership role in bringing awareness to these issues. Her student, an Air Force Korean War Veteran, and Architect, Bill Edwards, was inspired to create probably the first oil painting of an unclaimed veteran PN1 Eva Binns.
Tyler Creighton, Journalism Department, Bucks College, met with Dan Kohlbek, Founder, Project NAGA®, Inc. and Dr. Jan Cook, BCCC. The result of the meeting, and a significant accomplishment, was likely the first photo of an unclaimed veteran presented on the front-page of a college newspaper.
The Bridge Model™ is an open source solution model for ending this crisis of elderly veterans dying alone and his or her remains going unclaimed in morgues and funeral homes throughout the country. Critically, the Bridge Model™ has the support of many individuals: several doctors, numerous professors, staff, students, hundreds of volunteers; and has the support of doctoral level scholarly research.
The Flowers for Eva Initiative was very successful in its pilot run at Bucks, involving: students of the Arts department led by professor Deborah Riccardi (students painted oil portraits of veterans); and, Continuing Education’s Floral Design Department, led by instructor Darcie Garcia (creating 17 red, white and blue floral arrangements) to honor the 17 unclaimed veterans interred at Washington Crossing. The involvement extended to our local community Giant Food Store who generously contributed flowers, and Rich Mar Florist in Allentown who generously contributed supplies. This project uniquely involved a child artist who contributed to the Initiative. Her portrait of Eva is included among the other paintings, standing not only a proud tribute to the veteran; but also, represents diverse and inclusive dimensions of the Initiative.