Paul Butler calls them “my Vets.”
As a Vietnam-era Veteran volunteering with the American Pride Program, Paul finds personal fulfillment in celebrating and honoring the service of others who have shared time in uniform.
“I learned about the American Pride Program and Veteran pinning ceremonies during a presentation at the American Legion,” Paul recalls. “As a chaplain, I had been exposed to hospice before and was impressed with the people associated with it. I decided to participate in the Veteran pinnings and, after my first hands-on experience, I got really excited.”
A Veteran pinning involves a volunteer Veteran saluting and honoring a fellow Veteran who is in hospice care. Two or three volunteer Veterans usually perform the ceremony with members of the family present. What never ceases to amaze Paul, he says, is the reaction of Veterans when they are recognized as soldiers and honored for their service. “Even patients whom family members say have been non-responsive for a long time have reacted when I arrive in my American Legion cap and address them. I remember one Veteran who had not spoken for a while according to his family. When I asked, he gave me his service number, totally surprising his family and me. When his family checked to verify, it was absolutely correct. Those things convince me that we are making a difference.”
American Pride celebrates the lives of Veterans and honors their contributions. The program also ensures that Veterans receive all the benefits to which they are entitled. With the support of volunteers like Paul, Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County, and American Pride, we are able to accompany and guide Veterans and their families toward a more peaceful ending.
Volunteers are a critical component of our superior care and superior services. As members of our interdisciplinary team, volunteers contribute in a multitude of ways to improve the quality of life for our patients and families. Your skills and compassion can make a world of difference to someone.
Click here to learn more about how you can support American Pride and Ohio’s Hospice of Fayette County as a volunteer.