Today I will be taking some time to attend an appreciation lunch put on by Hospice of the Valley (HOV) for volunteers for their Veterans Salutes Program. I was introduced to this program about 2 years ago or so through the Arizona Veterans Chamber of Commerce. Being a part of such an amazing experience is probably one of the most special things I have ever had the chance to participate in throughout my life. Designed to spend time with Veterans in their final hours, the Salutes program allows Veterans to be honored for their service to our great country by fellow Veterans. Naturally this is a great fit simply because the Veteran is able to relate to his fellow Vet having served himself. Throughout my experience with this program I have been truly blessed and touched to spend time with some such amazing men who served in WWII and Vietnam.
The Veteran Volunteers role during the ceremony is to try simply listen, ask questions about the about the Veterans service, and lastly honor them by pinning the with a HOV pin and giving them a their branch of service flag coupled with American flag. Once this has taken place there is one last order of business to conduct…the salute of the Veteran. Standing before the Veteran and the foot of his bed we will say the following… “Fellow Veteran on behalf of Veterans across the nation, and Hospice of the Valley we would like to thank you, and honor you for your service to our great country, thank you and may God bless you sir.”
I have laughed with Veteran patients, cried with families, and hugged their loved ones. By far one of the most rewarding things I have ever had the chance to be a part of in my life.
Hospice of the Valley is looking for more veterans and volunteers for this wonderful program so if this is something you are interested in you may contact me for more details at 480-538-4980.
Thank you, and may God bless you for our service to our great country.