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Friday, September 18, 2009

Finding Jon Cook

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Last Sunday, I got an email from Sharon Elton, a fellow Cokernut asking if I'd heard from Jon recently. Jon (and brother Mike) went to Coker with us back in the early 60's. Jon was drafted (I think, he might have joined) into the Army and went to Vietnam. Right before our wedding Hubs and I found out he was in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We went to visit him the day after our wedding and carried him my wedding bouquet.
Jon is a paraplegic due to injuries in Viet Nam. I think they gave him a couple of years to live. He will be 70 this Sunday. So much for medical prognostications. He lives alone in Kershaw, SC in the house he grew up in. He has two caregivers who come in to assist him but he can drive his car (hand devices) and is pretty self sufficient. Every now and then C. and I go by to see him. The Internet has been a great asset to Jon. He is in touch with former comrades in the Army, family and friends.
Jon always asks about Coker "girls". Like my husband, there were only a dozen or so males on campus (day students) and most of them dated many of the girls. A few years ago I suggested Sharon email Jon and they have been corresponding ever since. Sharon lives in Ft. Worth so she asked me to find out why Jon hasn't been emailing.
It took a bit of sleuthing but God was on our side. We couldn't reach his brother Mike even though the college gave us his number.....disconnected :( So we tried what we thought was his church, First Baptist of Kershaw. No answer in the am; no answer in the afternoon; an answer at 6:30PM (Hey, it is Wednesday night in the south....Baptists gotta be at church!)
Turns out it wasn't his church it was a black first baptist church (a first for sure) BUT the lady who answered had taken care of Jon once upon a time and knew his current caregivers and promised to go see them after church and call back with a report.
She did. Jon has been in the Veterans Hospital in Augusta, Ga. since June. He woke up one morning, his caregiver took one look at him and said, "we gotta get you into the hospital," he doesn't remember anything until July. He is well now, expect for a bedsore, and hoping to go home soon.
If you'd like to thank a Vietnam vet....or send a B'day card (He'll be 70 on the 20th) his address is:
Jon Cook 1H122-2
Veteran's Hospital
1 Freedom Way
Augusta, Ga 30904
Thank you God for finding Jon for us! Heal him, please, and give him a Happy Birthday!

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