We recognize the importance of thanking our nation’s Veterans for their service. We know that without their sacrifices and dedication, we could not enjoy the freedoms we have today. Veteran Volunteers have a special role in hospice. As Veterans Day approaches we would like to spotlight Veteran Volunteer, Bob S., for the service that he has given to other Veterans. Bob was our Volunteer of the Quarter recently and we appreciate all that he does to help others. We asked him a few questions to get to know him better. Here are his responses.
What has led you to have an interest in volunteer work?
I have always had a passion for volunteering starting with my days as a Boy Scout. It continued when I volunteered for service in the Air Force. Over the more recent years, I volunteered with US Forestry for 15 years helping to serve and protect the San Bernardino National Forest. After my retirement and relocation to La Pine I had desired to serve those in our community leading me to provide services to the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, the Band of Brothers and Heart ‘n Home Hospice.
Why do you volunteer with Heart ‘n Home?
After my Mother was on hospice care several years ago I developed the desire to help the patients and families in hospice care to assist them in dealing with the final stages of life as best as possible. My particular interest is to assist the Veterans who often need a special type of care and caring.
Knowing the importance of the services Heart ‘n Home provides, how has your experience impacted you?
Serving as a Veteran Volunteer has made me appreciate what those who laid their lives on the line for our peace and freedom have experienced.
One of my patients was a World War II Veteran, one of the greatest generations of our history. Knowing what they experienced in one of the historic battles of recent history made me bow with respect for their courage and bravery. I often wonder how I would have reacted in battle and pray that I would have acted in the same manner.
Another of my patients became a close friend having served in similar circumstances and situations that I faced. We not only both came from Upstate New York and did many of the same things as youths, but we also served during the Vietnam War era. We often sat and talked about New York and his times in Korea and mine in Thailand. The bond we formed was special and we both looked forward to our next visits. His sudden and unexpected passing brought great sorrow to me knowing that I lost a friend without saying good-bye. But it also brought me peace knowing that he was released from his failing physical body and his spirit was freed to enjoy a reunion with his past family and be in the comfort of his maker’s arms. Knowing that I was able to provide friendship, laughter, and companionship during his final days made everything worthwhile.
If you are a Veteran, like Bob, and are interested in working with other Veterans we’d love to have you volunteer with us. Contact us at 1-800-HOSPICE and we will get you in touch with one of our Volunteer Coordinators.