Art and Helen Schwalm would agree with the saying “Love is all you need.” After all, they have been blissfully in love for 66 years.
“There’s a picture of us when we were a little younger,” said Art as he pointed to a portrait on the wall of a younger, yet still seasoned couple. “I’ve changed a lot, but Helen has stayed almost the same.” Helen shuffled and shook her head. “No,” she said, “I am not the same as that picture.” Art smiled, and then agreed saying, “True, you are more beautiful now.”
The doting glances and loving words shared between Art and Helen make it easy for any outsider to see that they are a happy couple. The Schwalms, both 92 and residents of the William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home, are World War II veterans who met at the tail end of the war while working at the Dallas Veterans Administration Medical Center.
“I was an x-ray technician for the US Army from 1941 to mid-1945. Around 1945 or 1946, I was working at the VA in Dallas, and Helen, a sergeant for the Marines, was working in the human resources department at the same VA,” said Art. He confessed that he always found a reason to talk to her every day, and eventually convinced her to join a bowling league with him. It was not long after that they became good friends and eventually married.
Art and Helen celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary January 5, 2013. They have a daughter, Dana, two grandchildren and one great grandchild.
“I think the secret to our long marriage is that we just truly enjoy being with one another. Sure, we had our squabbles, but we enjoy each others company and that can get you through any rough patch,” said Art as he smiled lovingly at Helen.
“I just love him. He is a remarkable man and a sweet person,” said Helen. “I am proud to know him.”
When it came time for them to move to a long term care facility, they felt the best choice was the Veterans Home in Temple. “We’ve lived in Temple for 35 years, our daughter lives here and we get to spend time with other veterans,” explained Art. Since coming to the Veterans home in 2011, they found several hobbies they take pleasure in such as playing Bingo, going to church services and talking to their many new friends. “We just love it here. Everyone is friendly and they take very good care of us,” said Helen.
For Valentine’s Day, they have not made any special plans. “We just like being together, and that’s how we plan to spend that day and all of our days,” said Art.
The VLB Texas State Veterans Homes provide affordable, long-term nursing care for Texas veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents. Eight homes are conveniently located across Texas, and each first-class facility is designed to enhance quality of life with a clean, caring and dignified setting appropriate to those men and women who have served our country with honor. Learn more about our State Veterans homes at VLB website or call 1-800-252-VETS.