A Promise: No Veteran Dies Alone

This summer my mother passed away.  My siblings and I divide our time when my Mom was in the hospital, so that someone was always there. Nights are the loneliest to me and I stayed with my Mom at night singing hymns to her, praying with her, and sometimes just holding her hand. It was a sacred time and I am so happy that my Mom was not alone when she passed away.

Bill Whitaker in an article  quotes President Lincoln. The Department of Veterans Affairs says its mission is “to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise … ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle.’ “At 14 VA hospitals around the country, that includes the special care veterans need when their final battle is coming to an end.”

At the VA hospital in Fresno, Dr. Wessel Meyer, chief of the medical staff oversees the end-of-life program. This program is run entirely by volunteers. Barbara Stadler, a secretary at the VA during the day, donates much of her spare time — and all of her compassion — to make sure the veterans here have a human hand to hold till the end.

Think about volunteering at a VA hospital. You might find the opportunity to offer your hand so a veteran doesn’t die alone.It is another way for us to say thank you to our veterans for their service.

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2 thoughts on “A Promise: No Veteran Dies Alone

  1. To Whom It May Concern,

    I can’t find who wrote this brief. But I am wanting to organize such a No Veteran Dies Alone in the Michael DeBakey Houston VA Med Center. It says in your story that 14 VA centers offer this compassionate service. In order to take their lessons into our efforts to organize such a service, could you tell me names/contacts in the several VA hospitals who would share their experiences? Training offered to volunteers? Toolbox for visitations? How to schedule volunteers for “on call” waiting for a end-of-life event? This seems like such a worthy activity I would like to foster it where I live.

    John Stevens
    john5123stevens@gmail.com
    832-799-7224 cell

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