Benjamin Patton, Grandson of General Patton, Awards Surprise Wish for Army Veteran to Return to Normandy

Wish-Granting Event Declared "Honor Our Heroes" Day by Mayor Emanuel; Honors Local Senior Veterans with Surprise Fulfillment of Dreams

Nov 08, 2011, 16:23 ET from Brookdale Senior Living

CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Local senior veterans were surprised by national special guest Benjamin Patton, grandson of General Patton.

Brookdale Senior Living, a leading owner and operator of senior living communities; TENA, the worldwide leader in the management of incontinence, providing products and services for individuals and healthcare services; and Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization dedicated to granting life-enriching wishes to older Americans, granted the wishes of three area veterans as part of the organization's efforts to honor senior veterans for the upcoming Veterans Day.

The event, which also highlighted recently granted wishes for other veterans, was held Nov. 8, 2011, at the Chicago Historical Museum.

The day, Tuesday, Nov. 8 was officially declared "Honor Our Heroes Day" in Chicago, hosted by Brookdale Senior Living and Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The following veteran wishes were granted live at the event:

  • Russell Taylor, 94, landed at Normandy on D-day and served in the Signal Corps with Patton's Third Army as it raced across Europe in 1944.  While in Paris, Taylor met his wife, Odile, who fled the Germans multiple times in her hometown in France.  The couple married on the Cannes Riviera on Sept. 15, 1945, and moved to the United States to start a family.  The couple has not been back to France in nearly 25 years.  Taylor's Wish of a Lifetime is to return to Normandy, renew his vows to his bride of 66 years in Paris, and to bid farewell to the place where he fell in love with his wife. His wish was granted by Benjamin Patton, the youngest grandson of General Patton. Taylor and his wife are residents of The Waterford, a Brookdale independent living community in Centerville, Ohio.
  • Jim Farrell, 90, served in the Army under General Patton in England and France, and in Berlin, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Farrell married his wife, Eleanor, while on leave, but had to return to duty in England the very next day, missing the couple's honeymoon.  After Farrell retired, the couple volunteered at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.  Farrell volunteered as an umpire's attendant for more than 25 years, and his wife sang at games with her group the "Sweet Adelines."  Farrell's Wish of a Lifetime is to meet Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs. The meeting will be at later date. The Farrells are residents of The Meadows of Glen Ellyn, a retirement community in Glen Ellyn, Ill.
  • Elizabeth Harness, a 91-year-old resident of Park at Golf Mill, a Brookdale Senior Living independent living community in Niles, Ill., served in Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) from March 19, 1943, to May 5, 1944, as a second-class seaman WAVE driver for the commander of the Naval training station in San Diego.  Because she traveled frequently during her career, Harness has lost contact with her fellow WAVES servicewomen.  Harness' Wish of a Lifetime is to reunite with other Navy WAVES to renew the veterans' camaraderie and sisterhood that Harness treasured.

With the sponsorship of Brookdale Senior Living, Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime has granted more than 160 lifelong wishes for Brookdale senior residents so far this year.  TENA has been working with Brookdale Senior Living since 2006. These life-enriching wishes are designed to reconnect loved ones, renew and celebrate passions and fulfill lifelong dreams.

Brookdale encouraged veterans to think about how their wish experiences relate to one or more dimensions of Brookdale's Optimum Life® platform.  The six dimensions of Optimum Life are emotional, social, physical, intellectual, spiritual and purposeful.  

Brookdale's Optimum Life® platform is geared toward cultivating whole-person wellness through fulfillment in the six key dimensions. Both Brookdale and Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime provide a helping hand in making some of the dreams of Brookdale's residents come true.  Residents at Brookdale Senior Living communities nationwide are invited to share and submit their wishes to Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime at

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is a leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing an exceptional living experience through properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently the Company owns and operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with 648 communities in 36 states and the ability to serve more than 67,000 residents. Brookdale is committed to providing exceptional living experiences within properties that are purpose-built, designed and operated to help residents live well while achieving an Optimum Life®. Brookdale Senior Living communities provide a daily experience of programs, services and care that are unique as a result of the collective talents and inspiration of the residents, their families, and its associates - demonstrating Brookdale's promise of "Our People Make the Difference." Brookdale is a publicly traded company (NYSE: BKD). For more information, visit

Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime (JBWOL) was established in 2008 by two-time Olympic Skier, former NFL football player and Colorado native Jeremy Bloom in living honor of his grandmother, Donna Wheeler. Bloom left competitive sports to launch the foundation in order to initiate a cultural change by enriching the lives of seniors. For more information, please visit

With more than 50 years of experience, TENA® is the worldwide leader in the management of incontinence, providing products and services for individuals and healthcare services throughout 105 countries. TENA® provides a full range of absorbent products tailored to the distinct needs of men and women, including pantiliners, daytime and overnight pads, male guards, protective underwear, briefs, skin care products, and underpads. With the TENA® brand, SCA is at the forefront of developing products that minimize the impact of incontinence and improve the everyday lives of people living or working with bladder weakness or incontinence. TENA® products feature innovative technologies, such as comfortable QuickDry™ topsheets, super-absorbent Lock Away Core™, and Advanced Odor Protection, to ensure protection, comfort and discretion for wearers. For more information, please visit:

CONTACT:  Holly Botsford, Public Relations Manager, +1-414-918-5314,

SOURCE Brookdale Senior Living