Heart ‘n Home recognizes Veterans with a Recognition and Pinning Ceremony. It is our hope and goal that our Veterans know we appreciate them and the sacrifices made to maintain the freedoms that we hold so dear.
Our first ceremony was presented to Volunteer and Navy Veteran, Jim Humble. He had no idea we were going to recognize him, let alone for his service to our great country. Todd Stice, CFO/Owner and Billy Galligar, Marine Corps Veteran, had the opportunity of presenting Jim with his certificate.
As Todd pinned the flag to Jim, tears swelled up in his eyes and his crackly voice slowly said, “Wow. Thank you.” At the end of the pinning ceremony, the entire room was wiping tears away. This has inspired Heart ‘n Home, not only with his military service, but also with his dedication and commitment as a hospice volunteer, making a difference in the lives of others.
“When Jerry, a 64-year-old man with Pulmonary Fibrosis, came on hospice services, he immediately told his Social Worker that, “He doesn’t need anyone getting into [his] head. He just wanted Heart ‘n Home to help his wife. He was very guarded. Over the next two months he developed a wonderful relationship with his care team. Heart ‘n Home respected Jerry’s wishes, gave him space, allowed him to talk at his own pace, and supported his wife through hospice services and education. Nonetheless, Jerry still maintained an emotional wall, often times causing him anxiety, exacerbating his breathing difficulties.
Shortly before the 4th of July, the Heart ‘n Home Nurse and Social Worker, presented Jerry with a certificate honoring veterans for their service. It was the most emotional we had ever seen him. Although he was traditionally very modest about his service, he was also very appreciative of the certificate. As were his family and friends present. After the pinning, Jerry began opening up about his feelings and struggles. The emotional wall was let down in a way that enabled Heart ‘n Home to help him live well until he died. A new level of trust was established – a new level of respect has been achieved.
This is an experience we will never forget . . . Jerry is a patient we will never forget . . . and honoring our Veterans for their service is something they will never forget.”
David, and his Veteran Hospice Volunteer, Steve. After the initial visit we knew that David had a kind soul. He was very private and only wanted “bare bones staff” visiting him, he didn’t want to put anyone out. He declined very quickly, our Heart ‘n Home Social Worker, had been working on getting the Veterans award and pin presented to him. On that day David’s daughter and son in law were there and knew what was going on, but David did not. When our staff arrived, David had a puzzled look on his face. We told him that we had an award for him that would be presented by Steve, our Veteran Volunteer. This is a picture of one comrade to another and a connection that can never be broken!
In a unique and special ceremony, our patient Jim was honored with FOUR additional family members – who either have or are currently serving in the military; Kevin (Navy), Steven (Army), April (Army), and David (Navy).
It took special coordination with the family, as well as the help of the Red Cross, in order to have Jim’s grandson, David, present. David had been actively serving oversees in the military. It was costly and time consuming, however the family was able to make it happen and Jim was elated. For one special day, Jim had all of his family around him; his two sons, two grandsons, and their families. The look of pride and joy on his face was priceless. Larry, a Heart ‘n Home Volunteer, pinned Jim and his family members, thanking them all for their service. We are grateful their family allowed us to honor this family of Veterans and share in Jim’s special day. It reminds us all of the importance of not taking life for granted and make the best of the moments we have with our families.
Even in small ways, we can make a big difference in our lives and the lives of others.