Aging veterans don’t want to leave West Hempstead group home

For years, the eight men had shared a house and a common bond: military veterans with broken bodies and little money, trying to make it on high-cost Long Island.

They cooked for each other and looked out for each other. The younger guys — the men currently in the house range from their late 50s to their 80s — helped the older ones get around. And they have been comforted by a shared understanding of what it is to be a veteran in a region where relatively few have experienced the sacrifice of military life.

But now they have a higher hurdle to clear. Their landlord, the Family and Children’s Association, has told them they’ll have to leave. Representatives of the nonprofit agency, which has operated the West Hempstead home as veterans’ housing for the past 14 years, say it is no longer suitable for men increasingly beset by age-related ailments, such as crippling arthritis and severe diabetes.

Several deadlines the agency has given them to move have come and gone, but the four men who remain have declined to leave.

They don’t want to be split up.

“We had until last week, but I’m still looking for a place I can afford,” James Brooks, who has lived at the house on Woodfield Road for almost 10 years, said in June. “They want to put Pete in a nursing home. But we just want to stay together.”

“Pete” is Peter Abrahamsen, 82. He spent 22 months in the…

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