She tried the knob, the door was open. “Okay”, she thought, “should I go any further? Don’t believe everything you’ve heard, he is just a harmless old man. Maybe so, but I just want to be careful. Hello? Anyone here? I brought some food and water for you.”

Stepping in a bit more, she saw a figure on a bed, just laying there, quiet. “Hello. I hope you don’t mind my just stepping in. I brought you some supplies.” No answer.

Her work with the VA had taught her to acknowledge the man, but not to question if there was no reply. Some men were too traumatized to even speak. She walked over to the table and emptied the items, keeping the bag by her side. “I’ll be back in a few days to bring more. That’s all they allowed me to bring this visit.” Still no verbal response but she saw a flicker in his eyes. She turned to leave and saw a slight movement from the bed. The old man raised his arm a bit to wave goodbye. “No worries, I’ll be back soon.”

She closed the door tightly and left. Her mission for the day was accomplished.