Because they sacrificed to assure freedom for us all, they deserve to be thanked.
We Honor Veterans
Big Bend Hospice has been a proud partner in We Honor Veterans, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs, since 2013. In 2014, we attained Partner Level 4, the program’s pinnacle level.
We have made the highest commitment to Veteran-centric end-of-life care by developing a variety of services and programs to serve and honor Veterans.
These services are offered through the Big Bend Hospice Valor Program and include:
A Valor Ceremony is available for many BBH and Transitions patients who are Veterans. These ceremonies, filled with honor and tradition, bring together friends and family members to thank the Veteran and preserve his or her legacy.
Trained Valor Volunteers (Veterans and non-Veterans) conduct each ceremony, which includes:
- The Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic music.
- A certificate of appreciation and letter of gratitude.
- Presentation of a Hospice-Veteran lapel pin and a table-top American flag.
The ceremony concludes with the greatest show of respect one Veteran can give another – a salute.
Valor Volunteers conduct these ceremonies wherever the patient calls home, including assisted-living facilities and the Margaret Z. Dozier Hospice House. Ceremonies can also be held after the death of a patient with presentations made to family members.
Coping with a terminal illness, contemplating death or experiencing physical pain can trigger complicated emotions. Sometimes a Veteran can only open up to a fellow Veteran. Volunteers, who are also Veterans, provide a comforting presence and camaraderie. This program provides social interaction and connection to create an environment in which life review and healing may occur.
Veterans Memorial Garden
Veterans designed and created this memorial at our Jean McCully Family House to pay tribute to all U.S. military Veterans and to emphasize that regardless of rank or branch of service, “We are all the same.” This beautiful garden includes:
- A large American Flag prominently lit and flown in accordance to Presidential proclamations.
- Custom designed emblems representing each branch of service and prisoners of war.
- A sound system that plays "Taps" daily at noon and for special occasions.
- A walkway lined with Veteran Memorial Pavers.
We host services to dedicate pavers purchased in honor of Veterans and an annual Veterans Day service in the garden.
Tree of Life Dog Tag
Thanks to a generous donor, we provide complimentary dog tags for every Veteran in our care. One tag is permanently placed on the Valor Tree at the Jean McCully Family House in the Veteran’s honor, and one is given to the family as a keepsake.
In 2018, BBH created a Veteran Liaison position to provide dedicated assistance to Veterans at the end of life. The person filling this role must be a Veteran and have a background in counseling. The Veteran Liaison:
- Coordinates Valor Ceremonies and Vet-to-Vet visits to Hospice patients and Transitions clients.
- Creates and strengthens partnerships with Veteran-centric groups in all eight counties of the BBH service area.
- Connects Veterans and their families to resources.
- Recruiting volunteers for the Valor program.
For more information on these programs or to get involved, please contact Big Bend Hospice at 850-878-5310.