Honor Salute recognizes veterans in hospice care

John Eilers, a patient of the Hospice of the Chesapeake, had a hard time opening up to others but had no trouble relating to fellow Marines in uniform.

Eilers, a Vietnam veteran, met Nicole Richard, a Marine Corps veteran, and her husband Jimmy, an active-duty Marine, during an Honor Salute.

The program is designed to recognize veterans who are near the end of their lives in an official ceremony to thank them for their service.

"He wouldn't talk to others, but he was open to talking to use because we understand, the terminology, the values - honor, courage and commitment" Nicole said about the visit.

Part of the Hospice-Veteran Partnership, the Honor Salutes ceremony also includes the presentation of a certificate and a hand sewn quilt to the selected veteran.

Director of Volunteer Services, Diane Sancilio, hopes to grow the number of veteran patient care volunteers.

"We are committed to showing our unwavering gratitude every day to our Veteran patients. So, to paraphrase a very famous uncle, 'We Want You!' We need Veteran volunteers to help us," Sancilio said.

Find out more about the veteran programs here: http://www.hospicechesapeake.org/the-life-center-109/we-honor-veterans-program