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Korean War veterans invited to take part in tribute dinner on Sunday, July 30

By Savannah Morgan

news@salisburypost.com

CONCORD — The public is asked to help locate and invite veterans of the Korean War to attend a program in their honor.

The event is scheduled for July 30 at the Embassy Suites hotel in Concord. Doors will be open at 3 p.m. for a reception, and the program will begin at 4 p.m.

The afternoon will include food, entertainment and fellowship among generations of veterans and the public.

The program is free for veterans who served during the Korean War — from 1950 to 1953 — and one guest each.

Entertainment will include Letters From Home, a music group that performs period pieces in costume, as well as a musical performance by Mel Speas, a Korean War veteran.

Rowan Hospice and Palliative Care and Hospice & Palliative Care Center are involved in a national program called We Honor Veterans. As part of an effort to salute the veterans community, they host monthly coffees for veterans in 10 central North Carolina cities.

We Honor Veterans also has hosted annual dinners honoring veterans from World War II for the past two years as well as a lunch honoring Vietnam War veterans in Salisbury in March.

The Korean War is ofter referred to as the “Forgotten War.”

“It was time to celebrate and honor the men and women who haven’t had the recognition they deserve,” said Don Timmons, community partnership coordinator at Rowan Hospice and Palliative Care. “It’s important to recognize these men and women who sacrificed their time, energy and even their lives to support our country as well as other countries. It wasn’t just a TV show called ‘M*A*S*H’; it was real.”

Approximately 21 percent of the hospice groups’ patients are veterans, said Ann Gauthreaux, regional director of public relations for RHPC.

“Veterans have a unique set of experiences and backgrounds, and they can bring unique challenges to end-of-life care,” said Gauthreaux. “We want to attend to veteran patients in the most respectful and empathetic way possible.”

Hospice staff are specially trained to ensure veterans are given specific care methods they might require. Gatherings such as the upcoming Korean War veterans dinner help provide an early connection between hospice workers and veterans, she said.

“This outreach is sort of an organic offspring of hospice care to make sure veterans are aware of the programs and services we offer,” said Gauthreaux. “We want to make sure they have a relationship with us and that they trust us.”

For more information or to help sponsor the dinner, visit HonoringVeterans@HospiceCareCenter.org or call Don Timmons at 336-331-1309 with information about a Korean War veteran.

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