Beloit Regional Hospice holds 60th We Honor Veterans pinning

Staff Report

This week Beloit Regional Hospice held their 60th We Honor Veterans pinning ceremony. Beloit Regional Hospice staff along with volunteers joined family to honor US Army veteran Dale B. Martin at his home with his wife Maxine by his side. This program by Beloit Regional Hospice focuses attention on the needs of veterans at the end of life. As part of We Honor Veterans, Beloit Regional Hospice staff and volunteers gather at the home of a veteran in their care to honor him or her with an American flag pin and certificate of appreciation which pays tribute to them for their military service to America and for advancing the hope of freedom and liberty for all. BRH has two veterans on staff, Chaplain Mark Maxted and CNA Ralph “Rocky” Plomb, that are instrument in the We Honor Veterans program.

When asked about their involvement, Mark said, “Being a ‘peace time era’ vet, I find myself honored to be at the side of our veterans, my brothers and sisters in arms. Hearing their stories and understanding that for these WWII, Korean, Vietnam and peace time vets like myself, they were all of eighteen, and maybe as young as fourteen when entering the service. This was a time when they should have been planning their futures or having fun with their friends. Instead, they were slogging through parts of the world they may have only heard about in school; some witnessing their buddy’s death or killing others and living with this for many years after, wrestling with these events on their death bed. If through our conversation or pinning ceremony I am able to bring our veteran some peace and understanding, or allow the vet to share some of their story with family members that they have kept hidden for a long time, then they too can die a peaceful death. I am truly honored to be a witness to our pinning ceremonies that we provide.”

Rocky said, “As a Vietnam veteran myself and working one-on-one with my fellow veteran patients, we form a certain bond. War stories are shared—some good and some bad. The happiness I get is when the veteran opens up from years of silence and shares stories of things they saw and things they had done.  This helps the veteran’s family understand why their father or husband had not told them about their experiences. Now the families can finally piece together the years that they never knew about. These veterans went into the service young men 17 years old just out of school.  They returned home to a much different world. These pinnings and certificates bring peace, validation and understanding to both the veteran and the family.”

In honor of Veterans Day on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Beloit Regional Hospice will be holding a ceremony honoring the volunteer and staff veterans who do so much for our patients. They will be gathering in the front lobby at 11 a.m. and then moving to the Large Conference room for a brief presentation, viewing of the Vets Roll video and then coffee and some sweet treats.

Currently Beloit Regional Hospice and Transitions Program have 33 veteran patients. Through their flower delivery program each one will receive a gift to thank them for their service.

Beloit Regional Hospice offers speakers about veteran affairs and many other topics. To find out more about resources available in the greater Beloit area, contact Taleesha Pinson, Outreach and Diversity Liaison at 608-363-7421 or tpinson@beloitregionalhospice.com. Information about We Honor Veterans and end-of-life issues can also be found at beloitregionalhospice.com.

Beloit Regional Hospice provides care for terminally ill patients and support for their families. The organization’s mission is, “To help make each moment of remaining life as full and as comfortable as possible.” The team includes nurses, certified nursing assistants, physicians, social workers, grief support staff, and volunteers, as well as administrative and clerical staff. For more information please contact Beloit Regional Hospice at 608-363-7421 or visit their website at beloitregionalhospice.com.

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