Veterans hold a special place in the collective heart of our staff at Center for Hospice Care (CHC) and the Hospice Foundation (HF). One in four people dying every day has served in the United States Armed Services, and we sadly hear all too often that they’ve never been thanked for their service. With that in mind, HF established the Capt. Robert J. Hiler Jr. Veterans Memorial on CHC’s Mishawaka Campus. Each year the Veterans Tribute Ceremony serves as a time for friends and family members to honor and remember their veteran loved ones with the donation of memorial items such as bricks, plaques, trees and benches to be installed at the memorial.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 event looked very different than in years past, but it was no less meaningful. Keynote speaker, United States Senator and Marine Corps Veteran Todd Young joined us virtually from his office to thank and inspire veterans with a heartwarming story about the bracelet he wears per a request from a mother of a fellow Marine – Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske – after LCpl Terwiske was killed serving his country in Afghanistan.
Chris Taelman, chief development officer welcomed online viewers to the event and introduced Mike Wargo, HF VP/COO and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Wargo spoke about some of the ways that CHC/HF supports veterans in our community through pinning ceremonies, vet-to-vet cafes, honor flights and many other events focused on thanking our local veterans.
Center for Hospice Care has achieved a Level 5 designation in the “We Honor Veterans” program which calls for us to integrate veteran-specific content into our staff and volunteer orientation and education. We are also proud to be a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner with the Department of Defense.
“We are honored to serve our nation’s veterans and they are a significant component of those for whom we provide services,” said Wargo. “… As part of this special ‘We Honor Veterans’ program, our goal in our community is to address their end-of-life needs and to serve them as they have served us.”
To view the 2020 event, visit: youtu.be/RqNTbycm_yg.
If you would like to recognize the service of a loved one, you can purchase a memorial item online in memory or honor of a veteran which will be dedicated at a future event . Go to foundationforhospice.org/give-veterans-memorial or contact Heidi Payton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574.367.2446.