Because they sacrificed to assure freedom for us all, they deserve to be thanked.
The Big Bend Hospice VALOR program, BBH’s premier program for veteran-centric services is a part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs national We Honor Veterans campaign. In the fall 2014, the BBH VALOR Program attained Partner Level 4, the pinnacle level by We Honor Veterans, thanks to a variety of programs created to recognize and honor veterans.
The VALOR Program is made up of several veteran-centric services.
Valor Ceremonies are a way to acknowledge and honor BBH patients who served in the military. Each ceremony is conducted by trained Valor Volunteers (veterans and non-veterans). They are held wherever the patient calls home, including assisted living facilities and at the Margaret Z. Dozier Hospice House. The ceremony includes the Pledge of Allegiance and patriotic music. A certificate of appreciation, letter of gratitude, Hospice-Veteran lapel pin and a table-top American flag are presented to the patient during the service. The ceremony concludes with the greatest show of respect one Veteran can give another Veteran – a salute. Valor Remembrance Ceremonies can be held after the death of a patient. Tokens of appreciation are presented to the families. The ceremony is concluded with a poem ready by a key member from the patient’s hospice team.
Vet-to-Vet Program connects volunteers who are identified as Veterans, and provide a feeling of camaraderie for our patients who have served in the military. Sometimes a veteran will only open up to a fellow veteran. This program allows an opportunity for social interaction, to relate and connect with the patient thereby creating an environment where life review and healing may occur.
Veterans Memorial Garden, behind the Jean McCully Family House was designed and created by a group of veteran volunteers as a way to pay tribute to all US military veterans and to emphasize that regardless of rank or branch of service, “we are all the same”. This unique area includes:
- A large American Flag prominently lit and flown in accordance to Presidential proclamations
- Custom designed emblems representing each branch of service and POWs
- A sound system which plays Taps daily at noon and for special occasions
- A walkway lined with Veteran Memorial Pavers
Veterans Paver Services are held to dedicate pavers made in honor of Veterans in our community. Veterans Day Services are also held in our Veterans Memorial Garden.
Tree of Life Dog Tags are complimentary dog tags that are made for any Veterans cared for by Big Bend Hospice. One is permanently hung on the Valor Tree at the Jean McCully Family House in their honor and a duplicate dog tag is given to the family as a keepsake.
Veterans Coalition was created as part of the We Honor Veterans Level 4 commitment. Big Bend Hospice created a Hospice-Veterans partnership with area agencies who are dedicated to serving our veterans. The objectives of this coalition are to:
- Honor veterans’ preferences at the end of life
- Improve veterans’ access to hospice and palliative care across all levels
- Strengthen the relationship between community hospice agencies and veterans organizations
If you would like more information about the VALOR Program, please contact our Big Bend Hospice Volunteer Department.