In honor of Veterans Day, SYNERGY HomeCare is showcasing inspirational stories of those who served—from our Franchise Partners to our clients.
When SYNERGY HomeCare of Leesburg, Va., owner Felix Gbee (pronounced Bay) met Chester “Chet” in 2021, it was the start of a great friendship.
Chet is a retired Army Colonel who served in leadership positions around the world including Germany, Ethiopia and Vietnam as well as in Washington, D.C. Upon his retirement in 1984 from the uniformed Army, he served in federal executive roles until 1997, when he retired from civil service. He and his wife Leona have been married for almost 65 years.
A few years ago, Chet’s daughter Laura started to notice that he needed some help. She and her husband Oliver and their son Jake live across the street from her parents, and over the years they noticed that Chet, who is 90, was needing more and more assistance from his wife. Laura reached out to SYNERGY HomeCare to learn about how in-home care could help Chet and Leona focus more on their relationship as husband and wife than as caregiver and recipient. That’s when they met Felix.
“As you can imagine, it was tough for Leona to relinquish any care for her husband, but she came to the realization that it was time to accept help,” recalled Laura.
Felix arranged for a caregiver to come for a few hours each day to help, but when an infection landed Chet in the hospital, he lost strength in his legs and needed help walking. Chet now receives around-the-clock care from SYNERGY HomeCare. The overnight care is especially important so that Chet has assistance getting ready for bed, as well as help getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
As someone who was very active, this lack of mobility affected Chet’s mood and morale, but his spirits are lifted thanks to the companionship his caregivers provide. “They are top-notch,” affirmed Chet.
Felix is also very involved in Chet’s care. A veteran himself—Felix joined the Army in 2002 and served several tours in Iraq as a Platoon Sergeant before serving in the Army Reserves—he is passionate about caring for veterans.
“Felix is in constant communication with the entire family and responds instantly no matter when I reach out,” said Laura. “And the caregivers have been wonderful: so punctual, so kind, so knowledgeable. They all feel like an extended family and they have my complete trust. We are truly fortunate to have them in our lives!”
According to Laura, Felix’s experience in the Army is an invaluable bonus as he is sensitive to her father’s persona and mindset as a former member of the military. Chet regularly remarks how privileged he feels that the owner of the company comes to visit and see how things are going.
“I’m passionate about serving veterans because I know it can be hard for us to ask for help,” said Felix. “I joined the Army to make a difference and my new career in home care allows me to continue to make a difference. It’s incredibly rewarding.”
Learn more about the many ways SYNERGY HomeCare supports veterans and their caregivers.
SYNERGY HomeCare is committed to providing exceptional in-home care for veterans and their families. The majority of our locations are contracted with the VA and because of this, we make it easy for veterans and their families to use their VA benefits to get the in-home support they deserve. For additional home care resources for veterans and their caregivers, click here.
Thanks for reading, and Chet and Felix, thank you and all veterans everywhere for your service.