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MARCH 24, 2021
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Honolulu Regional Office - Public Contact Team
Will host a Virtual Benefits Workshop for Veterans, Family Members, Surviving Spouses, and Community Providers on
FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021 From
4:00PM-6:00PM in HAWAII 3:00PM-5:00PM in AMERICAN SAMOA
To parcipate please join us in Cisco Webex by clicking or copying and pasng the below links into your browser:
hps:// hps:// MTID=me9e37af8ecac6787430e98dbd2f7bc15
You can join via Computer, Phone Audio (1-404-397-1596, 1992834090##), or Webex Mobile App
   Benefits Workshop Topics:
Compensaon, Pension, Educaon & Training, DIC, Survivor Benefits,
Loan Guaranty, Veteran Readiness & Employment, Burial and Plot Internment Allowance, Burial Flags, & Insurance
  Pandemic Miracles
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
emergency procedures to save sight. Some patients chatted with me over telemedicine platforms, which we could never have imagined. Others talked by phone for empathy and reassurance. I felt deep appreciation for the miracles of medicine, and forged deeper relationships with my patients. Despite devastation and isola- tion, this pandemic revived in me a sense of wonderment and an unshakable belief in the hu- man spirit.
Dr. Samuel Wong performs eye surgeries in Manhattan and Brooklyn. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he embarks on missions to help those who are the most vulnerable. From 1997 to 2007, he led Honolulu Symphony in over 100 con- certs.
Chasing The Light is pro- duced by Lynne Johnson and Robin Stephens Rohr. Edited by Sharon Linnéa.
Dr. Samuel Wong
 On Feb. 29, 2020, I flew to Toronto to visit my 92-year-
cooking odyssey. Every night, I chopped, prepped, marinat- ed, as my son—who would normally be away at school— roasted, basted, stir-fried his way into amazing dinners. We cooked side by side and ate al- most every meal together as a family — an immense treasure.
old mother and celebrate my brother’s birthday, bragging: “We have NO cases of coro- navirus in New York!”
Since we never owned a TV, it was a revolution to buy a flat screen. Chris and I watched the entirety of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, laughing about Jimmy McGill’s legal (and illegal) antics, and mar- veling at Bryan Cranston’s rich character development.
Within a month, we would become the very epicenter, forcing closure of all my med- ical offices and ophthalmolo- gy practice. My wife would stop playing violin in the New York Philharmonic for at least 18 months, as Lincoln Cen- ter is shuttered. My freshman son, Chris, would be sent home from University of Michigan.
Evenings, I turned to my beloved Brahms, Schubert and Beethoven, playing piano piec- es from my childhood. First musical memories in Hong Kong, piano lessons with strict teachers, high school recitals, symphony concerts, all came flooding back.
Of course, we grieved and sulked and cursed like every- one else. We were grateful for our health, but what good could possibly come of this?
Braving the coronavirus, I entered my office with N95 masks and face shields for
Then we started a six-month

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