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HENDERSONVILLE, NC – On December 7, 2018, the 77th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Four Seasons was privileged to honor U.S. Army National Guard veteran Sammy D. Bruce of Hendersonville with a special pinning ceremony. Mr. Bruce is the 400th veteran hospice patient to be recognized since Four Seasons began partnership in the We Honor Veterans program in 2014.
Bruce completed basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC and was a Private in the artillery division in 1963. Commander Jerry Betscha, U.S. Navy (Retired) officiated the pinning ceremony at Bruce’s home, accompanied by Bruce’s family. Bruce’s wife, Shirley, placed the “We Honor Veterans” pin on his lapel, while Commander Betscha placed the U.S. Army pin and saluted him.
“It was incredibly meaningful to honor Mr. Bruce with a pinning,” said Michael Wermuth, Four Seasons Chaplain. “The ceremony is a small gesture in comparison with the great sacrifices our veterans have made, but it allows us the opportunity to thank them with honor and nobility in their later years. It is also an opportunity to thank them for allowing us to serve them in their time of need.”
Over 1/3 of the patients served by Four Seasons are veterans. Four Seasons offers each veteran hospice patient an opportunity to have a pinning ceremony if it is at all possible to arrange one during their time receiving hospice, publicly acknowledging their service and sacrifice.
The ceremony is most often conducted by a Four Seasons Chaplain or Music Therapist and a member of the Military Officer’s Association of America (MOAA). The veteran being honored receives two special lapel pins, one carrying the U.S. flag and the flag of the veteran’s branch of service, provided by MOAA, and the other with the We Honor Veterans symbol. The pins are presented with a framed We Honor Veterans certificate expressing appreciation for his or her service to our nation.
For those facing life-limiting or chronic illness, the pinning ceremony provides a beautiful way for them to receive dignity and honor, often helping families find peace during a difficult time.
“Many veterans hesitate to accept the offer for us to honor them due to the fact that many of their comrades died in war. Some even say ‘I’m not a hero’,” Wermuth states. “Through the pinning ceremonies, we are able to give them the honor they truly deserve for their service, often restoring their perception of the sacrifice they made.”
The original program was developed by the Veteran’s Administration along with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Four Seasons is proud to partner with the national We Honor Veterans program and the local MOAA chapter in offering this important and cherished service to patients and families. The clear and profound impact experienced by patients and families is seen daily and provides yet another opportunity to care for those who have first served us.
The We Honor Veterans program is made possible through Four Seasons by donations from our community. To make a gift in honor or memory of a beloved veteran, please visit www.fourseasonsfdn.org/impact/we-honor-veterans.
About Four Seasons:
Founded in 1979, Four Seasons currently serves 11 counties across western North Carolina, providing the most trusted care to our communities through the following service lines: Care Navigation, Home Care, Palliative Care, Hospice Care, Bereavement Support and Clinical Research. Four Seasons is a national leader in high quality, person-centered care. Four Seasons is committed to providing an exceptional end-of-life care experience, proven by our consistent rank in the top 10% of service providers in the country for family satisfaction. Our dedication to innovation is also shown by being one in a handful of palliative and hospice organizations nationwide that contribute to clinical research studies and trials. If you or a loved one are living with a serious illness, remember it’s your voice and your choice: call Four Seasons when you are ready. To learn more, please visit www.FourSeasonsCFL.org or call 866.466.9734.