VETERANS CORNER – A love story: saying goodbye to a dedicated professional

Veterans Affairs Regional Benefit Office Togus, ME

Gary Kennedyby Gary Kennedy

We veterans of many years don’t really like our visits to the Togus VA facility, however, there is a bright side to this happening, especially for those of us who frequent this facility at least monthly and through the years have had to be admitted for periods of time for both physical and in some cases emotional situations. For disabled veterans this is a way of life.

For most of us, we are thankful for the aid and assistance we receive in helping father time stay his hand in regards to our time here with family and friends. Some vets as seen through the eyes of the medical team can be very difficult to deal with. It takes a big caring and understanding person to look through eyes of compassion and understanding but many do. There are some veterans that actually feel love because of those who try to understand.

With all the new systems that have been put into place recently many things have changed. More and more vets are being allowed to join with private practices and are also being allowed to pick up prescriptions with three months supplies. Here I am addressing all veterans but in particular those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The reason for this is veterans suffering with this disorder get use to life being addressed a certain way and hopefully for them, no surprises or negative changes. When things do happen that negatively impact a veteran’s life it can be very threatening. Most veterans will tell you that they are use to things being done a certain way and by certain people. I understand that very well and so does Togus VA.

When my doctor of many years retired, I was beside myself with anxiety. I began an extensive search through the system to find a physician that could replace the one I had lost. I was a lucky guy and found one that turned out to be caring and compassionate and who had my best interests at heart. We have all had our share of bad experiences and most of us have found an alternative to the past.

However, along the way a person or persons will enter our lives which we never realized could mean so much to us until they are gone. I have recently spoken with some veterans who were beside themselves because they had just realized they had lost a friend. Most of us know of this event but there are still some who do not.

Marilyn Farley Emery, whose beautiful smile and warm caring words, recently passed away. Most of us didn’t know she was sick and she wasn’t about to tell us. Marilyn joined the VA Pharmacy team some 25 years ago at age 55. Her husband was the late Robert Emery. They had two children and several grandchildren. She was a member of the Randolph United Methodist Church and has family here in China. So most of this event is known by her family.

However, there are still some veterans who aren’t aware and hopefully this article will be a gentle way of letting them know. I, for one, will miss Marilyn’s beautiful smile and wit. It was always a joy to spend a few minutes with her. She knew us by name and always looked out for our best interest. No, she can never be replaced but hopefully her replacement will have the same passion for veterans as she did. If this becomes an issue for you, use the blog site and we can talk. Thank you Marilyn for the many years you gave with love and care to the veterans. God be with you our very dear and missed friend. You will always be one of us.


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