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Breathe Easier With Rehab For Veterans -- And Civilians -- With COPD

Harlan Weinberg, MD, is a pulmonary disease specialist at Northern Westchester Hospital.
Harlan Weinberg, MD, is a pulmonary disease specialist at Northern Westchester Hospital. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Veteran’s Day is a time to remember and acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices made by all of our servicemen and servicewomen. Their service to America and defense of our freedoms makes us, as President Barack Obama said in his 2014 Veterans Day speech, "rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our commitment to all of those who serve in our name...we are reminded of our solemn obligation: to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.”

It is vital that we remember those who’ve served and think of ways that we can assist them. One such way is helping them with their health issues.

After serving in Vietnam, Charles Sanchez worked in carpentry for years. He rarely wore a mask while working because, as he put it, “I always had a cigarette in my mouth.”

The combination of smoking and exposure to construction dust led to severe breathing troubles. “I would get out of breath walking across the room and back,” Sanchez said. Sanchez had developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- COPD -- a lung condition that inhibits breathing and strikes veterans three times as often as the regular population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read more about Charles Sanchez and how important pulmonary rehabilitation was to restoring his quality of life on Northern Westchester Hospital’s blog.

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