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War Memories Connect Hospice Patients and Volunteers

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There’s a camaraderie that exists among those who have served our country. It’s one of the reasons Mike Parker, a Veteran, volunteers with Catholic Community Hospice’s Veteran-to-Veteran program. The program pairs a hospice patient who is a Veteran with a volunteer who has also served. It’s an opportunity for the patient to recount his/her life story.

Mike recalls a visit with a hospice patient: I started my conversation with, “So, I understand that you are a former Marine; I am a former Soldier”. . . From there it was a non-stop telling of tales, both his and mine, of basic training and drill instructors; of deployments; of friends made and friends lost. . . We made a connection through our shared experience — even though Robert was old enough to be my dad and his service was in a different time and at a different place. . . Together, in that hospice room — a sort of foxhole where Robert was in his final battle — we became “battle buddies”. . .

Catholic Community Hospice recognizes patients who are Veterans with individual ceremonies attended by family members, the Veteran volunteer and the Hospice team.  The program is part of the We Honor Veterans national initiative in partnership with the VA.

To learn more at Catholic Community Hospice.

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