At Hope Hospice, we value all our patients and their families. But, as we observe Veterans Day, 2012, we offer a special tribute to our past and present patients who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces.
These men and women have had extraordinary experiences in their lives. Many have faced combat. Many have spent years away from their hometowns. All have given significant portions of their lives to the work of keeping America safe. This may be the most important thing our Veterans have given us: their time.
Most who enter military service do so when they are young. Whether a person stays in for two years or twenty years, his or her term in uniform comes during the prime time of one’s life. Whether those years are spent in the Mideast desert, on a Navy carrier or in a stateside office or supply station, those are years that cannot be reclaimed. Those are years that our veterans have given to you and me.
For those veterans who are Hope Hospice patients, we offer an ear to listen to stories they may want to tell. We know that many who have seen the horrors of war may have avoided sharing those experiences with family members and friends upon their return home. As their days grow short, some vets decide they do want to talk about previously unspoken military memories. We work with caregivers and other loved ones to make sure that these stories are heard and, in some cases, recorded to keep them for future generations of the patient’s family.
If you know any veterans, young or old, take time to listen to their stories. You may be amazed by their recollections of people, places and events that they experienced during their military service. Some vets may be more forthcoming than others; that’s to be expected. But when a veteran in your family, neighborhood or workplace has something to say about his or her time in the military, take time to really listen. After all, this person has given a huge amount of time for you. You should be happy to give back a small amount of your time.