June 2, 2017

Elder vets recognized for their service at AV Senior Center

Dennis Anderson
Special to Aerotech News and Review

Vietnam War Navy Veteran Phil Roberts, who volunteers with the AV Veterans Community Action Coalition, recognizes Marine Corps veteran Theodore Melendrez, in a ceremony held at the Antelope Valley Senior Center in Lancaster, Calif.

LANCASTER, Calif. – Dozens of very senior veterans of all eras of service and wars received ribbons with Old Glory pinned on them in addition to a patriotic singing medley and recognition of their service in advance of Memorial Day.

The event was organized a few days in advance of Memorial Day observations that took place Valley-wide on May 30, Memorial Day observed.

About 50 veterans received Old Glory honorary pins from ProCare Hospice, with Vietnam War Navy veteran Phil Roberts awarding the small patriotic ribbons as veterans from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard were called forward.

“It’s something we do to show our respect, and to make sure all our veterans are recognized,” Roberts said, pinning a fellow Navy veteran who also belongs to the Fleet Association.

“You are the reason that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we celebrate as Americans,” said Brandi Wheeler, director of marketing for ProCare Hospice.

Wheeler said the event was arranged by ProCare Hospice because members of the hospice organization realized “Memorial Day was just around the corner, and we needed to do something. We realize that some of you have never been recognized, or welcomed home, or thanked.”

ProCare Hospice is a regional non-profit that provides hospice care and operates a spectrum of services for people who have served in the U.S. military.

Singer Stephanie Walski led the group in songs in a medley of standards and patriotic song, including “You’re A Grand Old Flag” and “Proud to Be An American.”

The salute was arranged by the regional hospice organization, with assists from the Antelope Valley Veterans Community Action Coalition, and High Desert Medical Group.

Volunteers with ProCare Hospice and High Desert Medical Group who have served in the armed forces get together to assist with recognitions for elder veterans. One such volunteer, Marine Corps veteran Jerry Lawrence, arranges for certificates of recognition and for active service military members to provide home visits for hospice patients.

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