Pictured is our former Story Keeper, Suzi Barber, RN sits with WWII veteran MGySgt. Roy L. Strickland, USMC, Ret. (1925-2010). Suzi had the honor of recording MGySgt. Strickland’s memories of landing as a young marine on Iwo Jima. Hospice Savannah received a generous gift and Endowment from Jim and Polly D. Strickland, the son and daughter-in-law of MGySgt. Strickland. Part of these monies were earmarked to create a memorial honoring our veteran patients and to educate our staff on the unique end-of-life issues they face. Click here to find out more about the Veteran Memorial and/or to make a donation of any level.
We focus on veterans and their special end-of-life needs through our Level 4 participation in the National Hospice and Palliative Care’s “We Honor Veterans” program which entails the development of strong relationships with VA Medical Centers and veteran organizations. 25% of all deaths in the United States each year are veterans of our armed forces. They have unique, often unrecognized needs that sometimes complicate the dying process and require skilled intervention from hospice clinicians. For example, veterans may under-report pain or fear because of deeply held stoic values. Combat veterans may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or have sustained mental, emotional, social, spiritual or moral injuries. They may not only have witnessed trauma but caused it, and may need encouragement to engage in the work of forgiveness.
We educate our staff and volunteers on veterans’ unique end-of-life needs and strive to recognize each veteran enrolled in our care by showing appreciation for their service to our country. We are often joined on these special visits by active duty personnel from the various branches of the armed services. We also try to assign volunteers who are veterans to patients who are veterans and, as always, our Story Keeper is available to gather for the patient’s life story.
Perhaps the highlight of our program has been the awarding of the Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal to our 95 year-old patient Ms. Amelia Jones at a ceremony at Hospice House in April, 2015 (pictured left). Read her story here.
Click here to enjoy a video presentation of how we recognize our veteran patients and employees of Hospice Savannah.
Click here to find links to many helpful resources for our patients and caregivers, including a link to a VA Caregiver Hotline.