Kenneth Shockley, Retired Air Force Veteran, Veteran Advocate and participant of the Veteran’s Directed Program dies at age 65
TAMPA, Florida – August 10, 2015 Mr. Kenneth Shockley, retired U.S. Air Force Veteran, passed away yesterday at the age of 65. Ken was a veteran of the Persian Gulf War and faithfully served his country for 20 years. At the conclusion of his military service, Ken’s easy engagement in conversation and considerable social skills made for a successful career transition into private life. He married the lovely and vivacious Maria and settled into their home in North Tampa. In addition to loving their “Florida Lifestyle,” they enjoyed taking trips to California to visit family members who reside there.
Several years ago, Ken developed debilitating health problems. That’s when he and Maria were introduced to the Senior Connection Center and the Veteran Directed Home and Community-Based Services Program (VD-HCBS), which helped them to obtain and manage the services needed to maintain their quality of life. When asked how the Veteran Directed program improved their lives, they responded, “We got to be like everyone else. Not always easy in our case.” Regardless of the difficulties they encountered, Ken and Maria found time to be community advocates; helping to promote services to our Veterans, both locally and nationally. Ken was featured on the www.exlore.va.com website representing the VD-HCBS and the VA Home Primary Care Program. Ken and Maria both participated in the “Voice of the Veteran” project at Boston College, which allowed them to talk directly to Veterans on the VD-HCBS Program or their caregivers about their experiences with the program. Their words of hope and encouragement were inspirational to everyone who heard them speak.
Upon hearing about Ken’s death, Senior Connection Center President and CEO, Charlotte McHenry responded, “We are honored to have had the privilege of getting to know Maria and Ken as we helped them through this journey. We are so thankful that they have been part of our organization and our lives. Having lost Ken leaves a void we are all feeling. Our hearts go out to Maria and their family in this difficult time.”
Seniors, veterans and disabled adults in need of services are encouraged to call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-96-ELDER for more information about the VD-HCBS and other programs.