Meet World War II Veteran Thomas Varner

Thomas Varner was drafted into the army shortly after he turned 18 during World War II. A small-town kid with a great sense of humor he was sent to Colorado to train as a medic at the Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora. He traveled around the country to different medical bases and hospitals and towards the end of the war, was sent to a base just outside of Tokyo, Japan where he completed his service.

“My job was to handle sick calls and to give vaccinations mostly. I thought of myself as a bedpan commando,” Thomas says. “I liked it and signed up for three more months.”

After his discharge, Thomas returned to Wisconsin with plans to become a minister and graduated from a theological seminary. However, he changed his mind about that career path and went to work with his father as a mechanic. He came to the realization that he did not want to be going out on service calls in the state’s harsh winters long-term and decided to pursue a new career. He found work in a factory doing electronic assembly for the Army and even worked on the guidance system for the Apollo Moon Shot, which landed on the moon in 1969. Thomas decided to move to California for more opportunities in the electronics industry and finish raising his three children before returning to Colorado.

Thomas fell in love with Colorado during his time training as a medic in Aurora and moving here brought him closer to two of his children. When it came time to retire he and his son were referred to Golden West by the estate company they were using to downsize and sell his house.

Colorado has a large veteran population and we are proud that so many of them call Golden West home. We offer the support and services veterans need to maintain an active retirement lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to stay connected to other veterans.  

On this Veterans Day, we are showing our thanks and gratitude to residents who served in the armed forces with a patriotic musical performance by local musician Alan Vail in their honor.

If you are a veteran looking for a comfortable, affordable, and safe community where you will be supported and appreciated for your service, please contact us to schedule a personalized tour. We welcome veterans and their spouses and encourage you to call 303-444-3967 or contact us on our website to see why Golden West should be your new home for the holidays.