MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — A Vietnam War veteran from Middletown was granted a special wish by a non-profit organization that provides memorable moments to seniors on Friday.
73-year-old Robert Lund Jr. served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He received the National Defense Service Medal and Meritorious Unit Commendation for his service.
“I did two tours of South America, two tours of the Mediterranean, two tours in the North Atlantic, and two tours of the Caribbean in four years,” Lund said.
The Twilight Foundation celebrates and fulfills the lives of seniors by granting them wishes. The organization has granted almost 5,000 wishes to seniors across the country.
The non-profit has only been in Connecticut for one year and has already granted 38 wishes to seniors in the state.
Lund recently lost his wife Karen in January. The two were married for 30 years. He turned to painting to get through his grieving process.
Lund is a resident at Luther Ridge at Middletown, a senior living complex.
Laura Comer, the residential services coordinator at Luther Ridge submitted Lund’s name to the Twilight Foundation, as she could see how much Lund loved to practice his artwork.
As Lund is on a fixed income, he could not afford art supplies on his own.
“I know he really has a passion for his sketching and painting,” said Comer said.
The hobby has contributed positively to his physical and mental health. Painting has become both his passion and therapy.
“That’s how I handled the anxiety from Karen passing away,” Lund said.
The Twilight Foundation granted his wish with plenty of supplies, including frames and sketch pads.
Lund likes to share his artwork with the other residents so he displays it in the art gallery at Luther Ridge where he has lived for many years.
“The population of seniors they don’t ask for wishes for themselves they don’t and even though they need things and want things,” said Andrea Hoisl, who established the Connecticut chapter of Twilight Wishes.
The Twilight Foundation counts on caregivers and family to let them know about seniors like Lund who may be on a fixed income.
“We celebrate you and all your service and your dedication and the life you lived,” Hoisl said.
You can learn more about the Twilight Foundation on their website.