GILCHRIST

GILCHRIST

Celebrating Veterans Day 2021

November 11, 2021, Caregiving, Elder Medical Care, End-of-life doula, Gilchrist, Hospice

As we are celebrating Veterans on Veterans Day, I like to remind Americans that Memorial Day and Veterans Day are two vastly different days. Memorial Day is a day to remember veterans who gave their lives in service to their country or passed after their service. It is a day of remembrance to honor all of those who have worn the uniform since 1776 and have passed.

Veterans Day is a day to honor those who are still with us and have proudly served or continue to serve. The sacrifices since 9/11 have been incredible, but let’s not forget that we still have heroes among us from World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Conflict, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, and Desert Storm. We should also take the time to thank military spouses and families. Their sacrifices are beyond comprehension.

I would like to focus my comments this year on the post-9/11 veterans. We have now crossed 20 years—a full generation—of persistent combat. Just think, service members who joined in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 are now eligible for retirement! Today’s veterans may have served four, five, or even six tours of duty since enlisting or commissioning. These are the veterans we need to focus on—the veterans who are still with us.

I am a veteran of 40 years in the Army with a combat tour in Baghdad, Iraq. These issues mean a lot to me, and Gilchrist has allowed me to serve in a program that benefits me and allows me to serve my fellow veterans.

We Honor Veterans Program (WHV)

The Gilchrist We Honor Veterans program (WHV) provides services and recognition to veterans in long-term care, hospice care, or the community. Gilchrist is a nationally recognized leader in the area of honoring our veterans.

We Honor Veterans offers many services, but I will focus on two of them. First, the Salute to Service. This program presents a final honoring in the months or weeks before veterans depart this beautiful Earth. It’s a wonderful tribute for veterans and their families. Second is the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” event. This popular event is designed to give Vietnam veterans the welcome home they never got when they returned from that conflict.

Hard Veterans Day Truths

Finally, let’s talk about veteran suicide. Twenty-two a day is 22 more than we should ever accept. Veterans Day is the perfect time to connect with any veteran and show them that their lives have meaning. Our We Honor Veterans program is the perfect way to support veterans year-round.

As a proud veteran, I am honored to have served and feel blessed that, through Gilchrist, I can serve other veterans.

Watch a video of Gilchrist’s 2021 Veterans Day celebration!

To learn more about Gilchrist’s We Honor Veterans program, visit gilchristcares.org/whv. To support our work, visit gilchristcares.org/give.

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