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It’s Never too Late to Say ‘Thank You’ to our Nation’s Veterans

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans’ Day on November 11, a special day to salute the men and women who bravely served our country in the military. These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.

 

I read this phrase sometime last year and it really resonates with me: “America is the land of the free because of the brave.”  This Veterans’ Day, please thank the people you know and love who are veterans or in active/reserve service and the families that carried on while their loved one was off defending our liberty.

 

Steve Bush US Air Force photo Father of Care Dimensions President Patricia Ahern

Steve Bush, USAF

Here’s a picture of my dad, Steve Bush, an Air Force veteran. He fixed planes and told great stories about the antics of a bunch of 20-year-olds stationed in Alaska. He also spoke, with reverence, about vets who saw active duty and about some being “forgotten” or misunderstood because the wars they fought were not “popular.” Right up into his 80s he still had a streak of that 20-year-old in him, flirted with the ladies, and had a vocabulary that would make a hockey player blush.

 

My dad died on hospice care in Chicago last month. I miss him dearly, but I am grateful that hospice kept him comfortable and allowed him to die peacefully.

 

As our nation marks Veterans’ Day, Care Dimensions wants to share its commitment to increase veterans’ access to compassionate, high-quality hospice and palliative care for those who are facing serious and life-limiting illness. As part of this commitment, Care Dimensions is a part of an innovative program, We Honor Veterans, developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a Level Four We Honor Veterans partner (the highest partnership designation), we are ensuring that excellent care at the end of life is available for our veterans and that support is available for their families.

 

It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 veterans every year – or 25 percent of all deaths in this country annually. The liberty that we, as U.S. citizens, enjoy comes at a price paid by these valiant men and women.

 

So go ahead and tell someone your story about your favorite veteran (or leave a comment, below). We need some uplifting talk – don’t you think?

 

To all of our nation’s veterans, thank you.

Patricia Ahern, RN, MBA, FACHE, is President and CEO of Care Dimensions. She has more than 30 years of leadership experience in health care, including acute care hospitals and hospice and palliative care organizations.

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"Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 90 communities in Eastern Massachusetts."