Lester “Les” Brownstein
AFRH- Resident Highlight – Lester “Les” Brownstein
By Lori Kerns | Librarian
Lester “Les” Brownstein was born and raised in the city of New York. His parents, a city worker and an administrator for a screw company, raised their three children in the Manhattan area. Les grew up as a Jewish boy in an Irish neighborhood. Gang wars, zip guns, and singing on street corners were not just in the movies but was part of his experiences growing up in the 50s.
Les was drafted on Veterans Day in 1968. The 25-year old was sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina to begin basic training for the Army. He was found best-suited to work in finance and sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He stayed for four months before receiving orders for Germany. Even though the Vietnam War was in full swing, he never received orders to go there. Les did three tours in Germany, one in Japan, and served his final tour in Hawaii where he retired after 22 years of dedication to the Army.
He decided to remain in Hawaii to begin his civilian career. He dabbled in different career fields, such as a government budget analyst for the next sixteen years before he moved to West Palm Beach, Florida to care for his mother, who passed in 2015 at the incredible age of 101. Les stayed in the area for about sixteen years. All the while, his name had been added to the list of potential AFRH-G residents once the Home reopened in 2010. Each time he was called, he asked to be moved to the bottom of the list until he was ready. That time came just last year when he reported for check-in Labor Day week.
Les has been enjoying the Home for the last six months and “loves it.” He is impressed by the convenience of never needing to leave the Home and knowing that he will not be a burden to his children, Sara and Chad. He enjoys his retirement by reading, weight training, and watching movies in the theater. He has also been using that street-corner harmony experience he learned as a kid to sing karaoke every Tuesday and Saturday. Les most recently decided to donate his time by serving as a library volunteer. Welcome aboard, Les! AFRH-G is so happy to have you here.