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Veterans’ Corner: It’s never too late for a welcome home

Over the years, all of our local veterans have discovered the value of connecting with others who served. As part of Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care’s commitment to serve this selfless population, a Vietnam Veterans Day Welcome Home Event is set for March 29.

The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the former J.C. Penney Store at West End Plaza Event Center, 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. West. The event is free for all veterans and one guest. Other attendees are welcome at $10 each, payable at the door. The day will include lunch, served at noon, entertainment, activities, and the opportunity to simply spend time together.

“Already, we have more than 250 people registered, and we have space for as many as 600 veterans and their loved ones,” says Ann Gauthreaux, Hospice’s regional director of public relations.

Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care partners with a number of local organizations to bring veterans together not only for camaraderie and recognition, but for the opportunity to learn about area programs and services especially for them.

The Welcome Home event is just one of several events during the year available for veterans. Weekly coffees as well as the Spirit of 45 Celebrations — which honor World War II veterans — provide affirming and “safe havens” for veterans to gather, reminiscence, and, if they choose, to remember their time of service.

“Everybody likes recognition,” one local Vietnam veteran notes. “For most of our veterans, their military service was the most traumatic event of their lives. The opportunity to talk about it is helpful, and it’s become a source of pride.”

Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care is happy to play a role in these events, Gauthreaux says, but also in providing veterans with services as they face the challenges of aging.

“We have welcomed a large number of veterans to these events,” Gauthreaux says. “They have a yearning to connect and enjoy together, and the opportunity to share stories with one another. There’s definitely a common bond, and it’s been an honor for Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care to create so many shared spaces and venues for all of us to come together.

“When we come together, it is certainly for camaraderie, and we hope it’s a time that our veterans are getting to know us, and learning how we can support them and their families in their time of need.”

Gauthreaux notes that some 22 percent of hospice patients are veterans, and that hospice care is an entitlement, a part of Medicare benefits. Hospice provides medical and emotional support to patients, so that, even with a life-limiting illness, they may live fully and comfortably, and with dignity. Additionally, hospice provides support for the patients’ entire family, and most hospice care is provided at home, wherever you call home in the 13-county region. When patients do may need a higher level of care, they may choose to stay in the beautiful Glenn A. Kiser Hospice House, a 14-bed, state-of-the-art facility which opened in 2013. And anyone may make a referral to hospice, Gauthreaux points out, including the patient or his or her family.

Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care also offers grief counseling and Advance Healthcare Planning workshops — not only to veterans but also to anyone in the community, all free of charge.

To RSVP for Vietnam Veterans Day, please call 336-768-6157, ext. 1622, and leave your name and number of attendees. You may also email this information to HonoringVeterans@HospiceCareCenter.org

To learn more about Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, please visit www.RowanHospice.org

West End Plaza, 1935 Jake Alexander Blvd. West, Suite A-2.

Problems with the VA? Call 844-NC4-VETS (Toll Free)

Homeless Veteran? Call 877-424-3838 (Toll Free)

 

 

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