Honoring Veterans Beyond Memorial Day

May 30, 2024, Uncategorized, We Honor Veterans

Honoring Veterans Beyond Memorial Day

May is Military Appreciation Month, an essential month during which we honor and appreciate the service of our military personnel. It also culminates with Memorial Day, dedicated to remembering and honoring those who have given their lives for our country’s freedom. Many of us visit memorials, come together with our loved ones, or watch a parade to pay tribute to our brave military men and women.

At Gilchrist, we have a deep appreciation for our veterans that goes beyond just one day a year. We want to ensure their service is celebrated while they are in our care, creating a memory not only for them but one that their loved ones can cherish for a lifetime. We have an exceptional Vet to Vet Task Force that contacts families to inquire if their veteran would like to receive a Salute to Service tribute. If the family agrees, we make arrangements for a touching ceremony that typically features the National Anthem and other patriotic elements.

The Task Force, comprised of volunteers who have served in the military themselves, and our dedicated staff, organizes special ceremonies for veterans. These ceremonies include a respectful military salute, a special veteran’s pin as a gift, a heartfelt thank-you card, and a handmade quilt with patriotic colors. We also play music from the service branch to which the veteran belonged. These moments are significant to the veterans and their families as they show our profound gratitude for their service.

Salute to Service

One of our inspiring patients, John Angel, was recently honored with a Salute to Service Tribute conducted by Gilchrist veteran volunteers. The tribute included an opening prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and several patriotic readings. John was presented with the We Honor Veterans pin from the Veterans Administration. John also received a certificate from Gilchrist and a handmade patriotic blanket. The tribute concluded with an honor salute by the military veterans and the singing of God Bless America. John Angel proudly returned the salute.

John Angel, a native of Catonsville, Maryland, born in 1926, exemplifies the spirit of valor and sacrifice we honor during Memorial Day and Military Appreciation Month. Enlisting in the US Army Air Forces in 1944, John served as a tail gunner on a B-29 Superfortress, participating in 34 combat missions over Japan and the Pacific Islands during World War II. Witnessing significant events like the departure of the Enola Gay, John’s military service earned him numerous commendations, including the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Life After Service

After his service, John built a rich and fulfilling personal life with entrepreneurial success and deep family connections. Venturing into residential contracting, John became a prominent figure in the Catonsville and Arbutus areas, his love for aviation persisting as he piloted small aircraft to various destinations. His marriage to Charlotte Marguerite Cashmeyer blossomed into a personal and professional partnership as they worked side by side, developing properties and building homes. Together, they enjoyed travels and adventures, and shared experiences strengthened their bond until Charlotte’s untimely passing in 1968. As a devoted father, John’s resilience shone through as he single-handedly raised their two adopted sons, creating a nurturing and adventurous environment. His commitment to family and community contributions and ability to find joy and purpose post-adversity exemplify veterans’ multifaceted lives beyond their service, enriching our understanding of their enduring contributions to society.

It’s important to remember the brave men and women like John, who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. At Gilchrist, we are committed to supporting our veterans in every possible way. If you are interested in learning more about the “We Honor Veterans” program or would like to contribute in any way, please feel free to reach out to Kimberlee McDonnell at or visit

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