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SENIOR Health Fair - September 26, 2018 - 23 "I'm back in business now." By Karen Rice The Weekly Vista Joe Copeland, 98, served overseas during World War II, where he saw a lot of action. During the Allied invasion of Sicily, he sacrificed a signif icant portion of his hearing. When he returned home, he didn't let his hearing loss stop him from living a full and interesting life, including a career, a family and commu- nity service. Among other things, he's been a faithful volunteer at the Fayetteville Public Library for the past 45 years. In August, the North- west Arkansas Demo- crat-Gazette published a Profile feature about Joe. That's where Les Magee, owner of Better Hearing and Balance, learned about Joe, his incredible story and the hearing loss he's been living with for most of his adult life. "The article just moved me. The thought that he had gone basically 40 years without being able to hear very well," Les said. Due to some record-keeping snafus, the Veteran's Administration had repeat- edly denied Joe's request for hearing aids. Joe's plight struck a chord with Les and his wife, audiologist Dr. Gretchen Magee. In addition to being in the audi- ology business, the couple is involved in the Sons and the Daughters of the Amer- ican Revolution. Les is also a veteran. "He's written to the gover- nor, he's written to congress- man, he's done everything to try to get these hearing aids," Les said about Joe's predic- ament. "And nothing was resolving the issue." Les decided he would do what he could to get Joe some hearing aids. "We were in a place where we could help him…we sell hearing aids of course," Les explained. "That's what we're in the business for, to help people hear the sounds and the laughter and all the things they've been missing out on." Plus, Les and Gretchen believed it was just the right thing to do. "I think it's the right thing to get this gentleman hearing aids. He's given a lot to his country and to this community." So Les reached out to one of his hear- ing aid sales representatives for help. "I told my sales rep, I've got this veteran who really needs some hearing aids. What can we do for him?" The hearing aid company, ReSound, agreed to provide the hearing aids at no charge. Better Hearing and Balance would provide the diagnostic testing, fitting and follow up care for Joe, along with any supplies or maintenance. Les contacted Joe to tell him the news, and to set up a time for him to come in to Better Hearing's Fayetteville office. Since Joe has a hard time talking on the phone, due to his hearing loss, Les talked to his son Bruce. "We brought Joe in, talked to him, tested his hearing and made impressions for custom hearing aids," Les explained. "I was so happy to be able to offer that." Bruce was excited at the prospect of his dad's improved hearing. Joe was too. "He's excited at the thought of being able to hear again. It will be quite a new experience for him," Les said. "He's 98, so he's gone a long time with decreased hearing." We caught up with Joe at Better Hear- ing, while he was there for a final fitting and to get his hearing aids. Dr. Gretchen Magee made sure Joe knew how to adjust and use them, and explained that he could come in anytime for maintenance, adjustments and supplies. What did Joe think about his new hear- ing aids and the idea of being able to hear clearly again? "I'm back in business now," he remarked. Look for Joe on Tuesdays and Thurs- days at the Fayetteville Library, in the used bookstore on the first floor. Ask him a question. You won't have to repeat it. Thanks to the folks at Better Hearing and Balance, he'll hear you and be happy to help. For more information, contact Better Hearing at 855-657-6464. Joe Copeland Dr. Magee presents Joe with his new hearing aids. Joe Copeland and Dr. Gretchen Magee, Better Hearing and Balance. Joe Copeland, circa WWII Better Hearing and Balance gives a gift of hearing to a hero

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