GARRISON, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas Vietnam War veteran said he’s thankful to be alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving.
The Air Force veteran lives in Garrison. The left side of his body is paralyzed after he suffered several strokes.
“I enjoy having the company in my house,” said Tommy Solomon, who is bed-ridden. The 79-year-old veteran said while his favorite holiday is Christmas, he loves to feed people during Thanksgiving. He said he would cook deep-fried turkey.
But all that was taken away almost five years ago after he suffered a stroke.
“You know it’s hard for a man that tinkered and fixed things and did all kinds of things to sit in a bed and not be able to get up and do those things they use to,” said Karla Biggs, his daughter. Biggs takes care of her father full-time.
She said with his failing health came a couple of close calls.
“He’s almost passed away on us several times. He has a reason. God has a reason from him to still be here,” Biggs said. “And we’re thankful for that. To share these times and moments with my dad.”
Those close calls almost made seeing this Thanksgiving nearly impossible.
Since January 2017, Jacob Thomas has been providing hospice care through Hospice in the Pines.
“I do remember Tommy saying, ‘I want to make it to another holiday. I want to experience Christmas.’ I share with him, my birthday is Dec. 26, and he says ‘I love Christmas and I love Thanksgiving’ and here we are now, you know the whole family is together,” Thomas said.
On Thursday, Hospice in the Pines gave Solomon two pins to honor him for his service in the United States Air Force.
“Life is always ups and downs. You just got to be thankful and talk to God to get every day, every step forward,” Biggs said.