Honoring veterans in end-of-life care

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MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Hospice of Midland continues its mission, leaving no veteran behind through the “We Honor Veterans” program. For more than ten years, the program has helped veterans in end-of-life care receive the honor, respect, and peace they deserve, through the help of staff and volunteers. 

The program works with veteran patients by pairing them with local veteran volunteers to give them a chance to relate and connect through shared experiences. When veterans enter the program, the Hospice of Midland’s staff goes through a military service checklist, addressing needs from PTSD, exposure to Agent Orange, and even spiritual needs to help the hospice team understand each veteran’s end-of-life care preferences. 

“This program is very important for our veterans because I believe that no veteran should die alone, and every one of our veterans is entitled to dignity and respect at the end-of-life.”

David Goodman, DME, building supervisor and volunteer, Hospice of Midland

David Goodman, the DME and building supervisor at Hospice of Midland, is one of those dedicated volunteers. “The bond between veterans is instant,” said Goodman. As a member of the Army Reserves with a military service heritage, he is proud to have spent the last three years paying his respects to those patients involved in the program.

“Our veterans are always glad to have visitors, and they love sharing their experiences,” Goodman said. 

The Community Liaison of Hospice of Midland, Rachel Austin, says that volunteers like Goodman are so important, and they not only feed the soul but the body. Goodman is known for going above and beyond his call for service, and every week.

“David drives to visit the veteran he is paired with who is homebound. He then not only shops for his groceries but also makes sure that he has t-shirts and socks,” said Austin. 

Volunteers also participate in the “Final Salute” for the veteran patients by presenting a them with a blanket and pen in honor of their service all in the presence of their family. Goodman said it is therapeutic to see the veterans at peace and gives them a chance to “let go.”

Hospice of Midland is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in giving back or helping your fellow veterans, you can contact them on their website www.hospiceofmidland.org or by giving them a call at (432) 682-2855 for more information. 

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