My Long Story Short

by: Veteran Volunteer & Board Member, Tom Noonan

I was recruited by a fellow Vietnam Veteran to help Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions with a program honoring all veterans called “We Honor Veterans”. The program includes, among other things, an elaborate ceremony usually performed with the family present. The ceremony starts with a declaration of thanks along with the presentation of a pin stating “We Honor Vets”. Then a red, white, and blue blanket crocheted by our volunteers is given to the veteran along with a challenge coin from the United States Senate. Also presented is a small U.S. flag to be hung on the veteran’s door and a star cut from a retired flag with this saying attached: “I have flown over our homeland in the U.S.A. I can no longer fly, for the wind and rain have caused me to be tattered and torn. Please carry me as a reminder that VETERANS LIKE YOU HAVE KEPT OUR HOMELAND FREE. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.” The last part of the ceremony involves a final salute from all of the veterans present. This can be a very emotional time as the honoree and those present realize this is the
final salute.

I really appreciate the opportunity to have this privilege in honoring my fellow veterans one last time. This is the end of my story. Please volunteer at Hospice in any capacity and write your own story.