Are there Veterans in your family, now or in the past? If so, did you participate in any activities, whether at home, in IL, AL, SNF, memory care or elsewhere?

The SNF had an excellent ceremony, one of the best I've seen. All residents and guests were asked this week if they were Veterans. Before the ceremony, staff and some of the planners went through the facility with their lists and a Navy noncom to ensure that each Veteran who was physically able to attend was in fact brought to the main dining room.

Before the festivities began, the typical inter-service rivalry was in existence between a few of the retired officers. An Army officer was jesting with a stoic faced Marine who never changed his expression while being called the typical "Jarhead" and "Leatherneck" nicknames.

The Color Guard began the ceremony (their erect posture reminded me I was slumping and I quickly sat up straight), various officers spoke, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and a prayer was given. When the Pledge was initiated, old, perhaps arthritic, and wrinkled hands and arms began snapping to, posture straightened, and salutes were maintained, just as if these weathered Veterans were still in service.

It was impressive, and emotional. Sitting in wheelchairs, they still at that moment were military men. And hopefully had a chance to think of better days when they weren't so compromised by poor health and the ravages of old age.

The next phase was distribution of certifications of appreciation (prepared and sponsored by a home health care agency) and distribution of 2 appreciation medicals, one of which was hung on a red, white and blue banner.

Following this was treat time: a delicious marbled cake with thick red, white and blue frosting. During and afterthat, the retired officers mingled with the resident Veterans, apparently in an attempt to make sure that each Veteran connected with one of the retired officers participating in the program.

It was well planned, a bit of good marketing by the home health care agency which sponsored preparation of the handouts, and a chance for Veterans to escape for a bit from their life in wheelchairs, whether for rehab or as a life necessity. And it was a reminder that they are appreciated, especially by their current counterparts retired or still in service.

I was pleased, I think the Vets were pleased to be honored and lavished, and all in all it was a very nice way to honor men whose service ranged from WWII up through Vietnam and the Middle East.

How did you celebrate and honor the Veterans in your life?

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