May 19, 2016

Honoring Veterans at the End of Life


Americans across the country celebrate Memorial Day on May 30, a special day to honor the men and women who have lost their lives while serving. Honoring Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.

It surprises many to learn that every day, 1,800 Veterans die. That’s more than 680,000 Veterans every year—or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually. That’s why it’s important to say “thank you,” not just on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, but all year long.

Here are some additional tips for respecting and honoring a Veteran in your life:

  • Give Veterans an opportunity to tell their stories, but avoid insensitive questions such as “Did you kill anyone?” or “What’s the worst thing you saw?”
  • Show appreciation for the families of Veterans as well.
  • Always be sincere, caring and ready to listen to what a Veteran and his or her family share about their situation.
  • Be supportive and non-judgmental while validating their feelings and concerns.
  • It may take longer for some Veterans to trust you. Be patient and listen.
  • Expect a Veteran’s sharing to occur over a period of time.

As Americans mark Memorial Day, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (HPCG) deepens its commitment to increase Veterans’ access to compassionate, high quality care. One of the ways HPCG does this is by participating in the national We Honor Veterans program.

If you know a Veteran who is in need of the special care hospice brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please call 336.621.2500 or contact HPCG online here.

Adapted from content by NHPCO and We Honor Veterans