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Allison Abrasives veterans honored

December 18, 2015
Heritage Hospice’s Community and Provider Liaison Sharon Martin held a ceremony at Allison Abrasives in Lancaster to honor veteran employees. Those in the photo, from left, they are: Ron Devrick, Martin, Billy Lansdown and John Mark Kidd. Another veteran, Roger Pullom, was not available for the photo. Heritage Hospice offers the ceremonies to recognize veterans for their service as part of participation in the We Honor Veterans program. This national program helps educate hospices on better service of veterans and their families. Heritage Hospice wants to honor veterans working in industries in any of the counties it serves: Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer. For information, call Martin at 859-324-5790.

Caterpillar veterans honored

November 17, 2015

Caterpillar became the first industry in Heritage Hospice’s service area to hold a program to honor its veteran employees. Two ceremonies were held to honor 23 of the 76 employees. Those honored Nov. 12 are: front row, from left: Wayne Baker, Navy; Larry Bander, Navy; Vanessa Lacey, Army; Sam Smith, Army; Gary Neighbors, Air Force; Jeffery Roark, Army; and Bob Pritchard, Navy; and back row, Billy Whittaker II, Army; Lee Horner, Navy; Mickey Cooley, Army; Jim Hurt, Air Force; Travis May, National Guard; Marty Williams, Army; and Chris Yocum, Navy.

Those honored Nov. 16 are: from left, Brandon Cook, Army; Perry Goode, Marines; Jamie Smitha, Navy; Jacob Rice, National Guard; Sheridan Underwood, National Guard; Carlos Hafley, Marines; and Joey Wilson, Navy. Veteran employees who were not present at the ceremonies are: Dustin Gosser, Marines; Todd Yocum, Marines; and Joseph Rulon, Army. Heritage Hospice honors veterans as part of its participation in the We Honor Veterans program. Any business that would like to hold a event to honor veterans with pins and certificates, may contact Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice community and provider liaison, at 859-324-5790.

Veterans event draws 1,234

November 14, 2015
Click here to see Facebook photos
It’s quite uplifting to see a 102-year-old dance a jig after being recognized as the oldest veteran at Heritage Hospice’s Veterans Appreciation Day. World War II Navy veteran Ernest Blanchet, known for his love of dancing, kicked up his heels after receiving the honor. The Stanford man’s immediate audience was a circle of fellow World War II veterans who were being recognized at the 8th annual event at Danville’s National Guard Armory. George White, age 98, received special recognition as the second oldest attendee of the 32 World War II veterans. In contrast, 21-year-old National Guard member Zachary Jones of Harrodsburg was recognized as the youngest veteran. The event drew 1,234 people. There were 912 veterans who brought 322 guests. Of the veterans, 102 were first-time attenders. Masonic groups in District 21 prepared 200 pounds of fish and 160 pounds of barbecue for the veterans who attended from Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties. Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice community and provider liaison, the event’s chairman, credits the hard work of her planning committee and the financial support of several Veteran posts and community businesses for the event’s success. Major supporters are: Masonic Grand Lodge Of Kentucky F&AM; American Legion Post 46; Walmart of Danville; Farmers National Bank; Boyle County Fiscal Court; City of Danville; Heritage Hospice, Inc; AmVets Post 123; American National University; Walmart of Stanford; and Panasonic Appliances.

Austin uses skills to make patriotic afghans

August 2015
Knowing that she was expecting company, Dot Austin straightened up her nest. She tidied the area of the TV room of her Danville home where she sits in an emerald green upholstered chair for crocheting. She minimized her nest’s contents to the basics of a basket filled with red, white and blue skeins of yarn, crochet needles and a mostly finished afghan.
In the next few days, Austin plans to finish the popcorn-like raised fabric of this afghan. “It’s going to be one of my pretty ones,” she says of what will be No. 526. After completing it, she will put it in a plastic bag and label it, “The Women’s Ministry Indian Hills Christian Church.”
Next, she delivers her handiwork to Heritage Hospice and it finds its way to a veteran patient of the nonprofit that delivers end-of-life care in Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties.
Sometimes, the patients’ families send cards to let Austin know how much their loved ones appreciate their blankets. Austin has received a thick stack since she began making afghans in 2006. One letter of thanks especially brings a tear to Austin’s eyes. A Waynesburg man was the author of the note about how much his wife appreciated the gift. “… it is one of the things that has brought a smile to her face recently. She treasures the blanket and shows it, or most people notice it, when they walk into her room. … We will cherish it forever and after my wife is gone, my four daughters said they would fight over it. Just kidding, but one of them will take it and it will be preserved along with many of my wife’s other treasures that she holds so close to her heart.” The writer ended with, “You all made a very sick lady have something to smile about.” (See Dot Austin read letter in video.)
Austin may have received several acknowledgements of her talents with the needles, but she claims making the afghans benefits her as well because it keeps her from being bored. “I retired 20 years ago. This has been a lifesaver for me,” says Austin, who worked for Great Financial Federal in Danville. Her church group at Indian Hills was a natural outlet for Austin, who along with her late husband and two other couples, was one of the founding members of the church in 1961. She and her husband, Orville C. Austin, a technical Sergeant in World War II, married in 1946. It was after the birth of their son, Clyde, 68 years ago, that Austin decided to crochet. “When my son was born I knitted him a sweater out of some old yarn my mother had.” Austin wasn’t dissatisfied with the result but admits, “I don’t think I ever put it on him.” Upon retirement, Austin dusted off her needles and the rest is history as Danville’s own Betsy Ross of the afghan settles on the nest and sets those instruments to clacking to make toasty red, white and blue covers for veterans. Austin’s ability is well known. It’s not unusual for her to open her porch door and discover a bag of yarn that she will add to the nest. After an announcement that she was accepting yarn, she received a tidal wave. “I was overwhelmed with yarn. I still have six tubs in my spare bedroom but I’m working on it.”
One thing Austin won’t do is complain about the state of the donated yarn. “It doesn’t matter how scrappy it is or tangled. That’s the fun part of doing it.” Austin already was donating afghans to Heritage Hospice, but when the nonprofit began participating in the We Honor Veterans program and wanted to offer these patriotic-themed blankets, Austin had found her niche.
Austin, who became a widow in 1967 after her husband was electrocuted while on the job, has a strong admiration for veterans. Having married a veteran who served in the European Theatre from 1943 to 1945, she was more than willing to focus on giving these tokens of appreciation to veterans. While crocheting Austin can look at the wall facing her and view a photo of her husband in his soldier uniform in a shadow box showcasing his medals.
Austin says her husband didn’t talk a lot about his service, but one of the stories he shared was about how he earned one of his two Bronze Stars. Orville Austin was on the front line in Italy when his unit’s lieutenant was shot. “They asked for volunteers to carry him to safety. They put Red Cross bands on their arms and the Germans quit shooting while they carried him. What surprised me is that they stopped shooting for them,” Austin says. When Heritage Hospice began its Veterans Appreciation Day, Austin was more than willing to support the event by organizing the desserts. The 87-year-old held this position for five years before passing the reigns to a fellow church member, Susan Salyers. Even though she isn’t serving up the confections, Austin sent several iced sheet cakes for last year’s event.
Another way she contributes to the day for veterans in Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties is by sending an especially beautiful red, white and blue afghan as a door prize. Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice’s community and provider liaison, says meeting Austin and forging their relationship to help veterans was fortunate. She hopes others will follow suit and make afghans for the veteran patients.
Heritage Hospice served 64 veterans in the last 12 months and one of the reasons hospices across the nation participate in the We Honor Veterans program is because 25 percent of dying Americans are veterans and they want to focus on ways to better serve them. Martin is planning for the eighth annual Veterans Appreciation Day at Danville’s National Guard Armory. Martin can image how thrilled the lucky recipient of her donated afghan will be. “Dot puts the icing on the cake. She’s an extension of the love and compassion that Heritage Hospice has in its services.”

Female WWII veteran shares her story

July 3, 2015
Virginia Lee Koss, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, celebrated her 92 birthday at the Bryantsville United Methodist Church on July 3. She was surrounded with family and friends and was surprised when Sharon Martin from Heritage Hospice arrived to honor her for her military service. Martin presented Koss with a lapel pin, certificate, and a handmade red, white, and blue afghan.
Koss is a native of Malta, Montana, which is a very rural area where she lived with her late husband (Adam). Now she resides with her son and daughter in law, Lee and Maxine Koss, in Garrard County. She entered the military later than most after attending college for four years to become a PE teacher. While in college, she loved being a part of the swim team. Since there wasn’t much going on in Malta —population less than 2,500 people — she thought she would join the Navy to go on an “adventure.” She had no girlfriends and homes were at least five to seven miles apart. Since she was not old enough to join, her dad had to sign for her to enlist.
Koss went into the Navy as a WAVE in 1944 and was sent to Chicago with her blue uniform, which is now on display at a local museum in Malta. Then she was transferred to a hospital in Washington, D.C., where she was assigned not as a nurse but a pharmacy mate and later was trained to do occupational therapy. She was assigned mostly with those soldiers who were suffering from mental illness and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Koss, who served until 1946, said, “They never bothered me and I never saw any of them again.”
She remembers while serving one day there was a commotion in the building and she stood at the door and watched President Franklin Roosevelt being wheeled down the hall by his bodyguards. “I could have reached out and touched him,” she said.
While in the Navy, she also participated with the Navy Choir of 60 ladies and enjoyed going many places like New York to perform. “ It was a world of fun, with no exams!” Mrs. Koss laughed. After returning home from the Navy at age 26, she met her husband who was 32 years old and one of the last boys at home.
When asked how she managed to find a husband in an area where the houses were so far apart, she said, “I went up on top of the hill and hollered.”
She said he was a rancher and true cowboy. He drove his “M” tractor across the field to see her. Adam had been his own aviation mechanic in the military. When he returned home to Montana, he broke eight wild mustangs at one time. Hollering for a husband had a successful outcome as they produced five children.
Koss and her family are no strangers to veterans. Four of her five great uncles served in the civil war. Two of them were captured and put in jail where they were so strong they pried the bars open by hand and escaped. “They were primitive people,” she said with a smile.
Martin considers her interview with Mrs. Koss life changing because she never met a female WWII veteran in the nine years she has worked with veterans and the history and stories are never-ending. “It was a wonderful party and her family made it so special with fresh flowers and a homemade patriotic cake. It was truly a privilege and a blessing to have met her and her family,” Martin said

Honoring veterans

June 15, 2015

Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice community and provider liaison, honors a father and son for their military service. Joe Ray Troxler, Jr., of Danville served in the Army from 1973 to 1976. He was a personnel specialist and staioned at Fort Knox, Korea and at Fort Campbell. His son, Joe Tavares Troxler served in the Air Force from 2003 to 2014. He was stationed in Hawaii, West Virginia, Maryland and had a tour of duty in Iraq. He was an intelligence analyst and an interrogations analyst.

Members of advisory council honored

June 3, 2015

Heritage Hospice considers itself lucky to have several veterans who aid our
organizaition. Recently, Sharon Martin, community and provider liaison, came to a meeeting of the Community and Professional Advisory Council to honor members Joe Brown and Linda Dunn.
Brown of Paint Lick in Garrard County joined the Army after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University. He entered as a second lieutenant and served two years of active duty from 1968 to 1970 in Germany. He served another 22 years with the Army Reserves. Dunn, who lives in Burgin in Mercer County, was in the Navy Reserves from 1988 to 1991.

Thanks to Veterans Appreciation Day supporters

June 11, 2015

Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice community and provider liaison, presents a plaque Masonic Grand of Kentucky F&AM Master Wilson Wilder to recognize the lodge’s support of Heritage Hospice’s annual Veterans Appreciation Day.

Sharon Martin, right, presents a plaque to Sharon Howell of Farmers National Bank to thank them for their generous support of Veterans Appreciation Day.

Lexington offers Honor Flight

May 12, 2015

The Honor Flight, which takes veterans to see the monuments in Washington, D.C., will be offered from Lexington for the first time on Sept. 26. Louisville has offered the flight a couple of times a year for several years and will be flying veterans and their guardians on June 6.

 The program provides a free flight to Washington, D.C. for these veterans so they have the opportunity to visit the memorials that are dedicated to them and their service.

 Having the flight offered in Lexington makes it much easier for our local veterans to go to Lexington rather than some other airport, according to Jack Hendricks, commander of VFW Post 3634. Priority is given to hospice patients and World War II veterans.

Veterans may apply online at:

For further information:
Call (888) 998-1941

World War II veteran honored

April 29, 2014
Charles Walters of Danville received a pin and certificate from Sharon Martin to recognize her Army service during World War II.

Highest level achieved in We Honor Veterans

April 8, 2015

Heritage Hospice has been on a quest to better serve veterans through a national We Honor Veteran program. The program has four levels and Heritage Hospice recently earned Level 4, the program’s highest level.

Janelle Wheeler, Heritage Hospice executive director, says, “We strive daily to provide the best quality of care possible and to be sensitive to the unique needs of our patients. It is truly an honor to serve our veteran patients and to able to say thank you for all they have done for us through their service in our nation’s military.”

As part of honoring veterans, Heritage Hospice has held community veteran recognition ceremonies in churches, nursing facilities, theaters and at Centre College. Pins especially designed for Heritage Hospice and certificates of recognition are part of these events to honor veterans in Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties. Along these lines, a special tribute to veterans will be held at 11 a.m. May 16 at the Lincoln County Public Library. The oldest veteran will receive special recognition. All veterans in Lincoln County are invited.

When veterans are admitted to Heritage Hospice care, staff educates themselves about their military service. Since the beginning of 2012 to April 2014, Heritage Hospice has served more than 150 veterans. That number includes 41 World War II veterans and 44 Vietnam veterans.

When possible, veteran volunteers are paired with veteran patients in both the hospice and Transitions program. Heritage Hospice welcomes interested veterans to consider becoming volunteers.

Even though Heritage Hospice has reached the top level of the We Honor Veterans program, staff continues to seek ways to reach out to veterans and work with Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts in our area. One special activity that staff relishes is the annual Heritage Hospice Veterans Appreciation Day event at the National Guard Armory. Sharon Martin is the chairman of the planning committee for this event. This Nov. 11 marks the eighth year for this event where Masonic groups prepare a fish and barbecue dinner for 1,200 veterans and their guests. Martin begins fundraising for each year’s event as soon as one ends.

If you would like to know more about our We Honor Veterans activities or to contact Martin to aid with the appreciation day, call 859-236-2425.

Boyle church honors veterans

November 8, 2014

Veterans at Alum Springs Church of God received pins and certificates from Heritage Hospice to recognize their service. From left, they are: Sam Belcher, Tony Cox, Stewart Belcher, Ken Presley, Manuel Conder, Jim Underwood and Buck Taylor. Others who were honored but not in the photo are Frank Durham and Bob Lear. Active duty servicemen honored were D.J. Daugherty, Jared Phillips and Keith Rasmussen.

Hospice serves Korean War veteran

October 12, 2014
Paul Blair, a resident of Christian Care Center in Lancaster, was one of the first 100 sailors on the beach at the Battle of Inchon during the Korean War. This amphibious invasion resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations. It involved 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels and led to the recapture of the South Korean capital of Seoul.
His son, Danny Blair, says his father, who recently celebrated his 85th birthday, didn’t talk much about his four years of service or this particular battle. “He had friends who were blown up right in front of his eyes. He would get very emotional. I can only imagine what he had to endure along with the other folks. He didn’t talk about it much. It broke him up.”
Despite the horrors Paul Blair witnessed, Danny Blair says his father, a native of Russell County, had a strong desire to serve his country. “When he was old enough to enlist, that’s what he did.”
After his service, Paul Blair married Deena Kelsey. Blair was one of 13 children and loved his home in the Eli community in Russell County, but the couple moved to Cincinnati to find a good job. Blair worked on airplane engines at General Electric for 38 years. After retiring at age 59, he returned to Russell Springs where he had grown up in a family of 10 children. Danny has twin brothers, Ron and Rick. The Blairs also had a stillborn daughter who Danny named his daughter, Pamela Jo, after.
Danny Blair describes his father as “a good, Christian man and that’s how he raised us all to be.” Danny Blair lost his mom 19 years ago. His father remarried to Doris Barnes Blair, who lives in Russell Springs. Danny Blair credits his stepmother for providing superior care for his father for the last three years before he came to Christian Care Center in May. Heritage Hospice now is providing care for his father and Danny Blair has many compliments.
He lives about three hours north and appreciates receiving information about his father’s health between his visits to his father and stepmother. “You guys are great. (His nurse) Leasa (Spicer) calls me after every visit and with me being 190 miles away, I really appreciate that.”

Veterans honored at The Grand Theater

Sept. 19, 2014
Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice Community and Provider liaison, presented Paul Drew and Dee Hatfield with We Honor Veterans pins and certificates recognizing their service at the season opener at The Grand Theater in Lancaster. The men have been presenting the colors before each show since the theater reopened.

World War II pilot honored

July 2014

Editor's note: Mr. Ochsner died Aug. 22, 2014.

Warren Ochsner, 93, of Kings Mountain taught many other soldiers to fly during World War II. His hospice team honored him for his service. From left, they are: nurse Carolyn Bottom, social worker LaDeanna Yocum, chaplain Brad King and his wife, Barbara.

Warren Ochsner of Kings Mountain wanted to provide medical help to soldiers when he enlisted in the Army in September 1942. But the Army had other plans for Ochsner, who was trained as a physical therapist. “He signed up to go in because he felt like he could work in the physical therapy area. That’s what he had the college degree for,” says Barbara Ochsner, his wife of 40 years. Ochsner had completed his four-year degree to be a physical therapist at Nation College in Chicago, but the Army decided Ochsner, now 93, would make a fine pilot and placed him with the Air Corps.
“They said, ‘Ochsner, you’re going to be a pilot.’ He told them, ‘Really, “I’d rather be on the medical team.’ They said, ‘Well, you’re going to be a pilot,’” Barbara Ochsner says.
Ochsner, who is from upstate New York and has lived in Kings Mountain for the last 20 years, was called up in February 1943, a few days after his 22nd birthday. After basic training in Atlantic City and further college training, he officially became an aviation cadet G44 in Syracuse, N.Y. His testing and evaluation for becoming a pilot was in Nashville, Tenn.
His son, Ric Ochsner, a Baptist minister in Maine, says once his father was assigned training duty, he served stateside instead of overseas. Although Ochsner’s job sounds safe, his son says his father did not escape danger. The B-24 Liberators Ochsner flew were notorious among American aircrews for their difficulty to fly and consequent high incidence of accidents. There was a high mortality rate among pilots and crews being trained. Nearly 15,000 had died by the war’s end, Ric Ochsner says.
“Even though he never left stateside he definitely had some close calls. He came in with his engine on fire one time. His bomber went into a stall and they were spinning and heading toward the ground and he had a hard time pulling it out. He was approaching the tree line and did pull it out,” Ric Ochsner says.
During his service, Ochsner moved around quite a bit as preflight training was in Montgomery Ala., primary flight school was in Union City, Tenn., basic flying was in Newport, Ark., advanced training was at George Field in Illinois, transition flying was in Smyrna, Tenn., crew training was in Tonopah, Nev., bombing crew training was in Muroc, Calif., and advanced crew training was in Walla Walla, Wash.
He received his wings to become an Army Air Corps Officer Aug. 4, 1944 at George Field Illinois. He was honorably discharged Dec. 17, 1945, in Newark, N.J., at the end of the war. He was a first officer with a rank of Second Lieutenant.
After learning to be a pilot and becoming an officer, Ochsner was put to work training other pilots. In addition to B-24 Liberators, Ochsner could fly several models. He learned to fly on a Stearman (bi-plane with 220 hp radial engine), moved on to basic trainers (single wing, with 440 hp radial engine), then to twin engine (with two 440 hp radial engines) and finally on to four engine bombers (four 1,000 hp Pratt-Whitney engines).
“Dad likes to say that the actor Jimmy Stewart was also a B-24 pilot and trainer like he was.”
Ric Ochsner took careful notes during his discussions with his father about his service and compiled the stories into “Warren’s Wings.” He presented his father with his memoirs for his 80th birthday.
The B-24s Ochsner flew were the most heavily produced bomber during the war, more so than the familiar B-17 “Flying Fortresses”). The “Liberators”offered a more modern Davis Wing and twin tail design with a higher top speed, greater range, and a heavier bomb load than the one it replaced. The B-24s however were more difficult to fly, with heavy control forces and poor formation-flying characteristics. The training of others required some long hours in the pilot seat, Ric Ochsner says.
“My father used to talk about eating M&Ms to stay awake during long flights and doing the flights in formation for hours, almost wingtip to wingtip. That was mentally and physically exhausting to maintain that.” Some of Ochsner’s special memories involve his time in air.
“Dad was flying a long distance cross-country training run with his crew. As he was just flying over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco his radio operator called forward to say that he just heard that President Roosevelt had died that day. That was a memorable moment and location.”
After the war ended, Ochsner returned to his first love and was a physical therapist. He was offered a chance to earn a commercial pilot’s license, but declined the offer because it would require him to be too many miles from home.
After ending his physical therapy career, the Ochsners lived in Florida 10 years while caring for his parents. They moved to Kentucky to care for Mrs. Ochsner’s parents, who had left the winters of upstate New York for Lincoln County.
“The three years we spent in Kentucky sold Warren on Kentucky. It’s got natural beauty. It’s got four seasons,” Mrs. Ochsner says. They also discovered a life without mosquitos and decided to build their home in Kings Mountain on land Mrs. Ochsner’s father offered them.

World War II veteran recalls service

May 2014

Heritage Hospice team members honored World War II veteran Garnice Lamb, 89. They are, from left, chaplain Darrell Hahn, social worker Ashley Moore, Lamb, his wife, Martha Lamb, aide Paige Wilson and nurse Miranda Richardson.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Garnice Lamb died Dec. 19, 2014. He had celebrated his 90th birthday on Nov. 18.

World War II took Garnice Lamb away from a hardscrabble life. The 30 months he spent as a gunner in the Navy Air Force were exhausting, Lamb is glad to have served his country. “I wish I had stayed in there longer,” says Lamb, who did receive $20 a week for 52 weeks after leaving the service. The 89-year-old Lamb, who grew up in Mitchellsburg and now lives in Perryville, had to quit school at age 16 to financially help his mother. His father had died of tuberculosis in 1938 and his family — his mother and a sister and brother — moved to Indianapolis where there were more jobs.
He was working as a copy boy for the Indianapolis Times when he was called to service in 1943. Most of his time in the Navy was spent as a gunner in a plane. He logged 1,250 hours in the air. His primary duty was to get the ships through the Caribbean and have cargo safely arrive to the troops.
“There would be a plane in the air at all times over the ships. The longest I ever flew was 22 hours at one time.”
It wasn’t long after he left the service that he returned to Boyle County and married his wife, Martha. She was a pretty good catch since she had a job at Palm Beach and had managed to save a whopping sum of $200. Garnice Lamb was no slacker in the work department and became a superintendent with the Saltzman Construction Company building bridges. The only problem was he had to fly to his job site.
On Sunday afternoons, he boarded a plane at the airport in Junction City and flew to various sites around Kentucky, but mostly in the eastern part of the state. One of the company’s biggest projects was a bridge across the James River in Richmond, Va. In addition, he built the bridges at the Interstate 64 split south of Lexington and multiple bridges on Interstate 75 around Berea and Richmond.
Lamb didn’t mind overseeing the construction, but he missed his family. “That was a sad sight to see Martha waving goodbye to me on that runway every Sunday,” he said.
Martha Lamb stayed home to care for their children: Gary, who now lives in Omaha, Neb. and is retired from the Air Force; Katy Meaney, a nurse in Lexington; and Suzie Coffman of Danville, who operates her own embroidery business, Perryville Embroidery.
After many years, Lamb longed to be closer to home and got on a different side of construction work. He began selling construction equipment for Central Supply and worked there until he retired. Lamb also is known for his devotion to the Boyle County Fire Department. He spent 25 years with the department, several of them as assistant chief and several as chief. Furniture building was one of Lamb’s hobbies and the Lambs’ home showcases several pieces of furniture he crafted.
Many of his friends are the recipients of his cutting boards and kitchen knife holders. “Everybody’s who has come my house has taken one with them.”
Another source of enjoyment for the Lambs in their retirement years has been trying their luck at one of their favorite fishing holes attending services at Mitchellsburg Baptist Church, which Lamb joined at age 35. Lamb, who suffers from COPD, recently was honored by for his service by Heritage Hospice. He received a certificate thanking him for his service, a We Honor Veterans pin, and a red, white and blue afghan.
“War World II veterans are beginning to get kind of scarce,” Lambs acknowledges. According to the National WWII Museum, of the 16.1 million World War II veterans, fewer than 1.7 million are still alive. Kentucky has about 13,000 living WWII veterans.

Vietnam veteran honored

May 2014

Randall McDonald of Waynesburg had a lot to celebrate in May. The Vietnam veteran turned 65. His hospice team of social worker Ladeanna Yocum, left, and nurse Carolyn Bottom, right, joined Randall and his wife, Marlene, in honoring him for having served his country and brought him a birthday cake. Chaplain Brad King served as photographer.

Martin honored for work with veterans

April 2014
You won’t see her with a stethoscope around her neck or walking down Fort Logan Hospital’s hallways wearing scrubs, but Sharon Martin makes an impact on Lincoln County healthcare. As Heritage Hospice’s Provider and Community Liaison, Martin, a Lincoln native, is concerned with providing the best possible end of life care to Lincoln’s residents. One particular group Martin focuses on is Lincoln County veterans. With veterans accounting for about 17 percent of the county’s population she has a big job. She wants the county’s veterans to feel honored and supported as a way of saying thank you for their service to our country. She orchestrates an annual Veterans Appreciation Day where Lincoln veterans are honored with a delicious lunch and the opportunity to win many door prizes. Her outreach is part of Heritage Hospice’s participation in the We Honor Veterans program. The We Honor Veterans program began in September 2010 as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recognized that one in four dying Americans are veterans and set out to better serve those who have served their country. Martin makes sure there is a Lincoln representative at the event to make initial contact about counseling veterans for benefits and mental health issues. The idea for this event, which attracts more than 1,400 veterans, began six years ago. Heritage Hospice Executive Director Janelle Wheeler and Martin had a conversation about, “What can we do to honor veterans?” Martin thought about how her grandmother always like to feed people and came up with an idea for a lunch. In the first year, 1,000 veterans attended, and through Martin’s drive and determination the event has steadily grown to today’s magnitude. In keeping with her outreach to veterans, at Stanford’s nursing facility, Golden Living Center, Martin has held a pinning ceremony to recognize 17 veteran residents and the center’s director. She recently held a Black History Month ceremony to honor Lincoln veterans who had served in World War II and Korea. She collected biographical information about all the African-Americans veterans and presented them with certificates, handmade red, white and blue afghans and “We Honor Veterans” pins. With the help of Masonic groups and churches she has held shampoo and soap drives to give to veterans living in nursing facilities. She cares about the health and welfare of these men and women who served our country and has touched many lives with her outreach. Even though she has great love for Lincoln’s veterans, Martin strives to let every Lincoln Countian know about the support hospice’s teams of a medical director, nurses, social workers, chaplains, aides and volunteers offer at the end of life. She knows there are no do-overs in this arena and she tries to reach out to a variety of groups to talk about hospice services. As she schedules talks with everyone from firefighters and emergency services to church groups, Martin often is told that only a small number may attend a meeting. She quickly notes that it doesn’t matter about how many come because there is a standing joke that “where one or more are gathered Sharon will be there.” With large and small groups, Martin is making an impact on the health of Lincoln Countians.

Gen. Hunt honored at Blue Jean Ball
April 19, 2014

Thank you to everyone who joined us on a beautiful spring evening April 11 at Pioneer Playhouse for Heritage Hospice’s fourth annual auction and Blue Jean Ball.
Thank you to Kirk Schlea for creating a wonderful video for our event. You can learn about Heritage Hospice by watching the video Click here to see the video.
During the evening, we also announced Brigadier Gen. (Ret.) Howard Hunt III as the recipient of our Margaret Caldwell Spirit of Hospice Award. Gen. Hunt has supported us on many occasions in our outreach to veterans.

African-American veterans honored

February 2014

Heritage Hospice, Inc. honored African-American World War II and Korean War veterans to celebrate Black History Month Feb. 20 at the Boyle County Public Library. Veterans honored, from left, are: front row, Matthew McCowan, Korean War; June Christy, World War II and Korean War; Clyde Furman of Springfield, WWII; Robert Gooch of Stanford, Korean War; and Boney Simpson of Stanford, WWII; and second row, James Simpson of Danville, WWII; Albert Taylor of Danville, Korean War; Eugene Jones of Lincoln County, WWII; and Raymond Hall of Perryville, WWII. Bill Parks of Harrodsburg, WWII, was not able to attend.


Veterans event honored with Boyle Chamber award
Jan. 31, 2014

Sharon Martin accepted the Community Impact Award given to the Heritage Hospice Veterans Appreciation Day Committee from Boyle County Chamber Board Member Joey Harris at the Chamber's Jan. 24 banquet.
The award was given based on the number of people involved with the event that began six years ago to honor veterans by serving them lunch and offering many door prizes.
The event grows every year and set new records this year for the number attending with 1,458 veterans including 63 World War II veterans. The oldest veteran was 100. About 70 businesses donate door prizes. Several Masonic groups cook the food and there are many churches who make desserts. Students from Danville Christian Academy serve the food and many people volunteer to help.
In addition to Martin, who chairs the event, members of the Veterans Committee who work to ensure the event’s success are: Ralph Arnold, Tom Brown, Penny Brummett, Tom Bustle, Kevil Chinn, Don Draper, Jamey Gay, Jack Hendricks, Gerald Merriman, Jennifer Reed, Susan Salyers, Rick Schoebel, Kay Sheldon, Jim Talley and Emily Toadvine.
Garrard Masons donate to Veterans Appreciation Day

June 2013

Members of Masonic Lodge No. 104 in Lancaster Ron Ledford, left, and George Ralph Arnold, right, presented a $1,005.20 check to Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice Community and Provider liaison, to use for the 2013 Veterans Appreciation Day. The Masons raised the money through their breakfasts that are held the second Saturday of every month at their lodge. This will be the sixth year for the Veterans Appreciation Day, which will be Nov. 11 at the Danville National Guard Armory. The 2012 event, which includes a free lunch prepared by Masons and door prizes, drew 1,342 veterans including 56 World War II veterans.

Shampoo delivered to veterans

June 2013

Members of Franklin Lodge No. 28 partnered with Heritage Hospice, Inc.’s community and provider liaison Sharon Martin in a drive to collect a combination shampoo and soap for veterans. Masons from No. 28 and Lancaster Lodge 104 and Mercer Lodge 777 helped deliver 130 bottles to male and female veterans May 31 at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore. Michelle Ewing, activities director at Thomson-Hood, holds some of the bottles she received. Making the delivery from left, are, Ron Ledford, Kevil Chinn, Jim Hogue and George Ralph Arnold.
Donations still are being accepted for the Wilmore facility. For men, the combination shampoo and soap product is made by Gillette. For women, the product is made by Ivory. The reason for the drive is that the products are more gentle on the residents’ fragile skin. To contribute, contact Sharon Martin at (859) 236-2425.

Flags honor veterans served

May 2013
The sign at Heritage Hospice, Inc. had 35 flags placed by it to honor the number of veterans served from July 1 to May. Sharon Martin, community and provider liaison, placed the flags.

American Legion Post 18 pinnings

May 2013

A We Honor Veterans pinning ceremony was held during the May meeting of American Legion Caswell Saufley Post 18. Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice community and provider liaison, is shown pinning post commander Lynn Young, who served in the Marines, and Wanda Kopczynski, who served in the Women's Army Corps in the 1960s in the United States. This post is well known for its Honor Guard, which pays tribute to soldiers at funerals. Honor Guard members have been known to travel to up to three funerals a day to participate in services.

Heritage Hospice nurse is veteran

May 2013

Barbara C. Rose, a flex nurse with Heritage Hospice, Inc., was honored at a recent staff meeting for her military service. Sharon Martin, community and provider liaison, right, pinned Rose with a We Honor Veterans pin.
Rose served in the Air Force from 1970 to 1972. A registered nurse, she entered as a 2nd lieutenant and ended her service as a 1st lieutenant. Her first year was spent at Big Spring, Texas, at Webb Air Force Base. Her second year was at Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. She joined the military with her husband. He went through basic training and straight to officer candidate school. His ranks were 2nd, 1st lieutenant and captain. Rose’s two daughters, Julie Catherine and Amy Christine, were born while the couple lived in Grand Forks. Rose earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Grand Forks. She graduated in 1976 from the University of North Dakota. Her husband earned a master’s degree in public administration and graduated in 1976. A month after they graduated, their time in the service ended and they returned to Wolfe County in Kentucky.

Korean War veteran receives medals on MLK Day

January 2013
Albert Taylor, a Korean War veteran, received a big surprise on Martin Luther King Day when Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice community and provider liaison, presented him with medals he had never received for his service. The medals were: Combat Infantry Badge; World War II Army of Occupation Service Medal, which also is awarded to those serving in Korea; and Army Good Conduct Medal; Korean Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and United Nations Korean Service Medal. The medals were given to Taylor, who lives in Danville, at a MLK ceremony at First Missionary Baptist Church in Stanford, where he is a deacon. Taylor served 14 months in Korea, split into two, seven-month tours of duty. Taylor’s military legacy is continuing. He has a grandson, who is a pilot and served in the Gulf War, and a great-grandson who is serving in the Navy. “They all said they wanted to be like me,” Taylor said after receiving his medals. Martin spoke about Heritage Hospice’s role in outreach to veterans and to the African-American community. She noted that she often has been asked why she is making it her project to make sure veterans and African-Americans know about hospice services. “I’ll just use (Dr. King’s) words, ‘The time is always right to do the right thing.’ Please help me to help others so they don’t have to do it alone.” She spoke about the volunteer program in which veteran patients are matched with veteran volunteers and noted that there is a great need in Lincoln County for veteran volunteers for this program. Taylor appreciates the family and friends who helped him make it through his service time. Click to watch video

1,342 register at 2012 Veterans Appreciation Day

November 2012
Despite a downpour of rain, Heritage Hospice Inc.'s fifth annual Veterans Appreciation Day was a great success. The event continues to grow with 1,342 veterans attending at the Danville National Guard Armory.
This number included 200 veterans attending for the first time.
Carlos Stull of Kings Mountain, age 97, once again was honored as the oldest veteran attending. The event has grown every year. In 2011, the event had 1,286 veterans register including 68 veterans who had never attended. World War II veterans were asked to come forward and there were 56 attending. They all received a cap and a $10 gift certificate to Cracker Barrel.
Barbecue was added to this year's menu and 500 sandwiches were served. The amount of fish served was doubled from last year. Members of Masonic lodges Franklin No. 28 F&AM, Perryville 209, Lancaster No. 104 and Mercer No. 777 cook the fish and prepare the barbecue and items.
Indian Hill Christian Church was joined in providing desserts by Danville Church of God, Crossroads Christian Church, West End Church of Christ, The Faith Church and Redemption Road. The students at Danville Christian Academy served the food with the assistance of community leaders.
Boyle County Middle School student council members and Bate Middle School students also are involved. Boyle students collected napkins and put together all of the packages with condiments and napkins. Boyle and Bate students weathered the cold and rain to enthusiastically welcome the veterans with cheers and signs. Door prizes are a big part of the event and we thank everyone who contributed.
Anyone who would like to donate door prizes or financially support this tax-deductible event can mail items to: Atten: Veterans Appreciation Day Event, Heritage Hospice, Inc., P.O. Box 1213, Danville, Ky. 40423, bring them to the office at 120 Enterprise Drive in Danville, or call the hospice office at (859) 236-2425.
 Click here to see photos

Lancaster WWII veteran shares story with staff

September 2012
Editor's note: Walter Arnold died March 22, 2015.

With 90 years under his belt, Walter Arnold of Lancaster, has gained a lot of perspective on the war he entered 70 years ago. The World War II Army sergeant, who commanded a 10-man squad as part of the 329th Anti-Tank Company, returned in 1999 to places where he served as a young man. Through the Internet, he also shared memories and reconnected with fellow members of the 83rd division. They were lucky enough to survive the bullets whizzing by their heads during 11 solid months of combat that started on the beaches of Normandy on June 23, 1944, and continued through France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
The huge loss of American lives hit home with Arnold when he returned to the battlegrounds. He visited all 14 cemeteries where Americans are buried, including one containing 9,000 Americans. Family members accompanying him included his 16-year-old grandson. He tried to help his grandson relate to the situation. “David, the majority of the people buried here are just a little older than you are today,” he told him. Arnold received a list of 551 people in his division who were buried there from that one battle.
In speaking to staff at Heritage Hospice, the Bryantsville native who served as a Methodist minister for 60 years, was asked how he rationalized the things he experienced.
“I don’t even attempt to. That’s God’s business,’” said Arnold, a slender man who said that he never even talked about his years in the service until questioned by his two sons who was watching TV coverage of the 50th anniversary of D-Day. His wife of 66 years, Jean, joined him when he spoke at Heritage Hospice.
Arnold spoke as part of the staff’s participation in the We Honor Veterans program, which aims to help staff learn about veterans and provide better end-of-life care.
Arnold did not disappoint in offering valuable advice. “I hope I said a little something here today that will kindly help you realize what some of these people have gone through.” Arnold paused for emphasis, and continued. “They’ve gone through hell. To see their buddies killed. To try to administer to them — try to help them — is something you never get over. So maybe you will be just a little kinder after hearing something I have said.”
Learning about veterans is important for hospice staff as veterans represent 25 percent of dying Americans. Keeping in touch with former comrades has been important to Arnold, but he has outlived several of his fellow soldiers. He recently learned that one of his closest friends from the war had died. He lived in Florida. “Not a year passed that we didn’t talk since World War II.” Arnold’s patriotic endeavor was shared with four brothers and a brother-in-law. Arnold joked with staff that he led the pack of those brothers as the first boy after his parents’ fourth daughter. “I came along. (My mother) liked me so well, she had five other boys.” As for his father, the anguish of seeing all his sons march off to war was too much stress. “It was more than my dad could take. He had a heart attack.”
All the Arnold boys returned safely, but the same story was not true for Arnold’s brother-in-law, Homer Spires. After two weeks of marriage to Arnold’s sister, Spires left for war and was killed after his plane was shot down.
During World War II, families with servicemen displayed papers in their windows with stars on them, one for each family member serving. Arnold’s mother hung a paper decorated with four blue stars for him and his brothers serving and one yellow star for the son-in-law she lost. Arnold notes that more than 16 people in his family joined the military and a grandson now is a Marine at Camp Lejeune.
Arnold entered the war in 1942 after eight months of training at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. Arnold went to Camp Breckinridge and on to New York. In 1944, he went to Liverpool, England. “We crossed the ocean on the largest convoy that ever went across the Atlantic Ocean,” he noted. Their mission was to relieve the 101st Airborne, which had jumped on D-Day. Arriving under the cover of night was their strategy and they revealed themselves as Americans rather than Germans by carrying a metal object that made a clicking noise.
Arnold described it as similar to the toys found in the popcorn snack, Cracker Jack. “They landed at night. They couldn’t tell whether they were Americans or Germans so they communicated with that little clicker.” The troops were inland seven miles when Arnold’s division arrived to relieve them. The troops were advised of their options. “You can retreat if you want to, but you can only go seven miles backwards,” they were told. Arnold recalled spending six weeks in the hedgerows. “I don’t know how the French did this, but they made mounds of dirt, about 3 feet tall, and they put hedges on top of them. You could hardly get through them.” Arnold mourned his fallen comrades during his service. He shared one story of a man in his squad who wanted the job of gunner. His request was obliged and at the Battle of the Bulge, a battle in the winter months of December 1944 and January 1945 and the bloodiest of the war, the gunner was hit the first day and lost both legs above the knee. Arnold also had close calls.
He credits his fellow soldier George Boheler, who he reconnected with through the Internet, with saving his life. Arnold was in a room by himself. A German soldier was trying to get in and Boheler shot and killed him within 5 feet of Arnold.
Another narrow escape occurred when Arnold was crossing the Elbe River in Germany in April 1945. As he was unloading his truck and gun onto land, his truck was bombed. He ponders why they allowed him to reach land. “I’ll never know to this day why they didn’t shoot me out of the water.”
When he got out and drove up to the street, he felt the first bullet graze by his head. “You talk about a fellow that could run fast. I got out of his way. He didn’t get a second shot at me.”
Arnold tells the story modestly, but he received The Bronze Star for his quick action. The commendation for the medal said, “While Sergeant Arnold was putting his 57mm gun into position to cover an open field near Walternienburg, when an enemy Mark VI tank opened fire and demolished his truck. Sergeant Arnold and another enlisted man, with disregard for their personal safety, immediately manned the gun and engaged the enemy tank hitting it several times and causing it to withdraw. He again manned the gun when they were attacked a short time later by enemy infantry and high velocity guns but his accurate fire pinned them down until friendly artillery was brought to bear on them. Sergeant Arnold's initiative, quick thinking and heroic devotion to duty merit great praise and are in keeping with the finest military traditions.”
Arnold’s artifacts shown to staff included an orange flyer sent out by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to Germans advising them they could surrender. If they surrendered and brought the paper with them, they would be safe. Arnold may not show outward damage from his service, but he does suffer a hearing loss from firing a 57 mm anti-tank gun and other explosions. His gun shot a bullet weighing 6 pounds and capable of traveling at 330 feet in a second Arnold says he receives fine care at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Lexington where he gets his hearing aids and other care.
The end of the war was a cause for celebration. After years of living with the rations, he really indulged when those days ended. “When I was discharged and went to Post Exchange. I bought all the candy. All the chewing gum I could get. Do you know who got it? I gave every bit of it to her. I didn’t even give my mother one piece. That shows what kind of love I had,” he says casting a smile at Jean.
A rare souvenir Arnold showed was a leather belt for no bigger than a teen-age boy’s waist. It had belonged to a German soldier. “Hitler really got excited near the end. He started taking in young boys — 12, 13 and 14 years old. This shows you how big some of them were.”
Arnold considers his enlistment during the Korean War, which was spent at Fort Knox, as God’s time to get his attention. When he returned home, he never went back to the farm. He started preaching in a small chapel in Garrard County. He studied at Sue Bennett Junior College in London for two years before completing his degree at Eastern Kentucky University.
He still has two living sisters, one 97 and one 91. A younger brother is on the verge of 90. “I’m hoping he can live all next year so all four of us can be in our 90s.”
Arnold had put all his service behind him. He and his brothers worked side by side on the farm and never discussed it. “My brothers and I never talked about it. For 50 years I never did anything about it.” When his sons started asking questions, Arnold began to share his story.
One of his sons, Ricky, teaches in Garrard schools. His other son, Bill, is a professor at Asbury Seminary. Arnold wrote his memories and gave all the information Bill to use on a website. Click here to see website
When they posted the information online, he was able to connect with Boheler. Boheler’s granddaughter saw the website and contacted them for her grandfather. They had a reunion in northern Kentucky.
Jean said when she attended the reunion she learned a lot as the two swapped memories. “I think that it is important to hear their stories because many of them haven’t told it.”
Arnold’s efforts as a soldier were rewarded. One of the medals he received was the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with five stars, one for each battle. “Those are battle stars. It doesn’t mean you had a little scrimmage. Like the Battle of the Hedgerows, that was six weeks. That’s one star.”
Arnold says today’s soldiers face hard circumstances. “We knew who the enemy was. We knew where they were. We knew how we going to find them. … But today I say they are a bunch of cowards. They won’t come out and fight. They get a bomb around them and go out and bomb a car. They blow a bunch of people up and destroy them.”
Arnold talked about how soldiers become battle hard, which despite serving in a different type of war, is a constant. Arnold said he came across this situation when he was serving, but he convinced the soldier to capture and not kill the enemy. “I called to him and told him to come out. I told him to come out in a hurry. This boy didn’t like what he was doing. He reached for his hand grenade and he was going to pull it. I said, ‘Whoa, don’t do that. Give the man a chance.’”
Dr. Colin Raitiere, Heritage Hospice’s medical director, thanked Arnold for his service. Raitiere said his mother was living in Paris, France, and felt like she owed her survival to the American soldiers. “They felt like if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of the American soldiers they would not be alive and I would not have been born.” Arnold said he felt the love for Americans when he visited the cemeteries overseas. When he and his brothers, Cecil and A.T., nephews and a son were visiting a cemetery outside Luxemburg a man had been following them that day and wanted to meet the veterans.
“He said I want to tell you something. He says, ‘What I am, what I hope to be, what I ever become, I owe it to you boys.”

Nurse tells staff of service during
       Vietnam and Gulf War

July 2012

Peggy Butler’s military experience covers a lot of ground including helping build a hospital in the desert during the Gulf War. A nurse with 21 years of military experience, the Danville woman first worked in a hospital near San Francisco where snipers fired on wounded Vietnam soldiers being moved from one hospital building to another.
Butler, who retired after spending 25 years teaching nursing students at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, recently shared some of perspective on her Navy and Navy Reserves career that spanned 1967 to 1999. Butler witnessed the public’s poor treatment of soldiers during the Vietnam Era.
“A lot of anger was funneled toward military personnel rather than the politicians who made the policy,” Butler says as she spoke to Heritage Hospice staff about her military experience as part of the staff’s We Honor Veterans training. We Honor Veterans is a national hospice program that encourages staff to learn more about veterans to provide better end-of-life care.
An “Air Force brat,” Butler joined the service at age 21 as a nod of respect to her dad, who was an Air Force veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The Navy was her preference. One reason was she feared the remote locations assigned to those serving in her father’s chosen branch.
“Not the Air Force because I had visited my father in Grand Forks, N.D., and I decided if there was any remote chance that I would ever be sent to Grand Forks, N.D., that was not going to be it.”
She was sent to Oakland Naval Hospital, across the bay from San Francisco. Before WWII, the grounds had been a country club with a golf course. Despite its rolling green hills and beautiful trappings, the work within was grim. It was the West Coast center for amputees, psychiatry, neurosurgery and cardiology. Many arrived after the TET offensive, which was when the Viet Cong broke a two-day cease fire agreement during a holiday and began an intense wave of attacks.
“We would receive hundreds of patients a day from Vietnam for various reasons.” Butler says every day she spent in neurosurgery intensive care was a tough learning curve in the world of nursing. “It was like going to grad school. Because they had gunshot wounds to the head. There was lots of severe spinal cord trauma, brain tumors. Lots and lots of surgical procedures.”
The public sentiment in that area was very anti-war. Butler recalls snipers firing at amputee patients as they crossed the compound. “There would be people situated on the hill across the freeway with high-powered rifles that would fire on the amputees as they tried to make their way through the hospital compound. That’s how bad the feeling was at least in the Bay Area during that time.”
Patients proved challenging as they suffered mentally, too. Patients frequently acted out in inappropriate ways, Butler says. “In many ways they seemed to still be (in Vietnam).”
She remembered some humorous elements, too. A patient in a full-body cast once was caught throwing water balloons out the window. “It was like having injured Cub Scouts because they were very child-like in their behaviors.” During Butler’s time there, the old rambling hospital closed and moved its patients to a 10-story modern facility.
Butler was at a very impressionable age and says she does suffer PTSD. “I still remember those guys’ faces. When I say guys, I mean 17-, 18- and 19-year-old kids. They were younger than me at age 21. They seemed like my siblings.” Butler found a creative outlet for the emotions she felt during this conflicted time. She wrote some of her memories which were read during the dedication of the Vietnam War Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. Butler ended her active duty after two years and later continued her military work in the Naval Reserves.
While on drill with the Reserves, she started to think about being active in the military again after participating in a presentation about how Saddam Hussein used chemical warfare on the Kurds. Soon, she was serving in 1991 right before the Gulf War and to her surprise received the assignment of building a hospital in the desert. She was to help other Navy medical personnel build a Fleet hospital, a tent hospital that would support the Fleet Marine force.
“I always had visions of myself being this glamorous Navy nurse on board a ship. I was out there with the Marines humping and bumping in the sand. That’s not really what I had in mind when I signed up.” She has a before and after photo of the sandy area where they dumped her off the truck in Saudi Arabia and told her to build the hospital.
“I almost started crying.” She had an extra challenge thrown her way when she learned what time of day she was expected to do her part. “Guess who drew a shift to build a hospital at night?” Butler was pretty impressed when her unit pulled off the feat of erecting a 500-bed hospital in nine days. It measured a quarter of a mile in length.
Getting from end of the hospital to the other from the exterior was challenging. “We were walking in really deep sand in really heavy shoes all the time. I can recommend that as a weight-loss program.”
The tents for the medical crew were next to the hospital. They had their own village there, but she worried about living in this area with only canvas walls for protection. She followed the drill of slapping on her gas mask during the sounding of many alarms, and is grateful that the closest Scud missile was 2 ½ miles away. This field hospital was staffed by some of the physicians who were considered “older and wiser.”
When Marines called to say they were bringing in wounded soldiers on the helicopters and they would say, “Take them to the old men.” “Some of them were very renowned physicians. A lot of them had been through the Vietnam era.” Medical illnesses brought more soldiers into the hospital than combat wounds. Sometimes they saw soldiers injured from accidents while using heavy equipment. They saw a lot of burn victims as the oil fields were set on fire during the war.
Again, Butler witnessed behavior she would expect from mischievous Cub Scouts. The “docs” made a three-hole golf course complete with water hazards. Managing to have a little fun is a coping mechanism, but Butler was surprised at the inventiveness. “I can’t believe they brought their golf clubs,” she says.
Today’s military has changed so that the Naval Reserves would not have been staffing an active hospital and the field hospitals are usually 125 beds rather than the enormous one where she worked.
In her personal life, Butler chose to marry a soldier. She met her husband, Jim Butler, on a blind date in Danville and they married in 1976. Their son, Warren Butler, served six years in the Navy and now works with the UPS air division. Although Butler was willing to share her thoughts about serving in the military, her father was the opposite. He never talked about his World War II experiences but she knew that he crash landed three times. When Butler thinks about the effects her service has on her mental well-being, she says it’s hard to see young soldiers today going through the same situation as the ones she saw serving in Vietnam.
She cannot forget the young soldiers wounded in Vietnam, but she tries to cope with knowing she can’t change history. “I remember those guys. I sometimes dream about them. Part of it is, you just hike up your big girl britches and you go on.”

Veteran doctor honored

July 2012

Dr. Barry Purdom is the type of physician who goes out to the waiting room to escort his patients to the examining room. Purdom, who practices internal medicine with St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington, claims his motivation is just so he can control the pace at which he sees patients. But it’s obvious that Purdom does it to show how much he cares.
The likeable doctor has ties with Heritage Hospice’s service area. He grew up in Hustonville and graduated from Hustonville High School in 1960 where his father, Cecil, was principal from 1950 to 1978 and his mother, Ruth, was a home economics teacher. A pen and ink drawing of the old school hangs in Purdom’s office in Building B at St. Joseph office park off Harrodsburg Road.
After his high school graduation, he earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky in 1964 and in 1968 was a member of the fourth graduating class at the UK School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Memphis, Tenn., and then served two years in the Army in Alaska.
Purdom, who is ready with a smile, says he didn’t have much choice about whether he would serve since it was during the Vietnam War.
“The only choice was did I want to go as an infantryman or doctor.”
Purdom recently was honored for his military service. Sharon Martin, Heritage Hospice’s provider liaison, presented him with a We Honor Veterans pin at his Lexington office. He also received a certificate thanking him for his service.
After the service, he returned to Lexington and it has been home ever since. When asked if any of his children followed in his footsteps, Purdom revealed that all of his family is in the medical field. His wife, Judy, is a nurse. Son David is a general surgeon in Vincennes, Ind.; Matt is a pathologist at UK; and Michelle is a dietitian at Central Baptist Hospital.
When asked about his thoughts about hospice care, Purdom says hospice plays an important role. “There is so much inappropriate end-of-life care and if not for hospice, it would be so much worse. … It avoids a lot of suffering.”

Level II achieved in We Honor Veterans program

December 2011
Staff has been busy learning how to provide better end-of-life care to veterans and in doing so has completed the requirements for earning Level 2 status in the We Honor Veterans program. There are a total of four levels in the national program. Heritage Hospiceis one of nine Kentucky hospices enrolled in the program and among 1,175 community hospices working on completing requirements to better serve veterans.

One of the main ways Heritage Hospice staff has been increasing its knowledge is to invite speakers to discuss their service. Staff member, Victoria Scarborough, gave a presentation about the World War II service of her 95-year-old father, Walter Juteau, who was at the Battle of Iwo Jima, and her late mother, Nina Juteau, who worked at the Pentagon.

Another speaker was retired Air Force Brigadier Gen. Howard Hunt III, who discussed stresses today’s soldiers face, such as being away from family. Hunt, who served 1974 to 2008, spoke about treatment of those who served in Vietnam and how soldiers who fought in Korea regard their service.

Emily Toadvine, community relations coordinator, has visited Veteran Service Organizations to discuss the program. She has met with members of American Legion Post 301 in Perryville and the American Legion Post 18 in Stanford. She attended the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 10 meeting. District 10 includes posts in Boyle and Mercer but encompasses 10 counties. She emphasized aspects of the program including the desire to pair veteran volunteers with veteran patients.

Heritage Hospice, Inc. and a planning committee of 12 hosted the fourth annual Veterans Appreciation Day at the National Guard Armory in Danville. The event attracted 1,286 veterans.

Another part of the program is to work more closely with Veteran Administration Medical Center staff. In this area, Anita Floyd, a 19-year employee at Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, talked with staff about care of veterans there and provided lots of information to staff about benefits in such areas as burials.

Another part of improving care for veterans is to complete a military checklist for every veteran admitted to hospice. It determines such important information as whether the veteran is receiving military benefits.

The We Honor Veterans program began in September 2010 as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recognized that one in four dying Americans are veterans and set out to better serve those who have served their country.

Veterans Appreciation Day attracts 1,300
November 18, 2011
Heritage Hospice Inc. held its fourth annual Veterans Appreciation Day luncheon on Nov. 11 at the National Guard Armory in Danville. This year's event attracted almost 1,300 veterans, including 67 new ones. World War II veterans were asked to come to the front and receive an embroidered hat and a group of 38 were attending at that time.
Sally Bustle, a Danville policeman and veteran, sang the national anthem. Gen. Howard Hunt III spoke as did U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler.
Honoring our area’s veterans requires a budget of about $5,500. Other significant numbers are: 220 pounds of fish served; 150 door prizes given; 67 volunteers; and 150 sponsors who through their generous contributions make the event possible. In addition to the members of the Masonic lodges Franklin No. 28 F&AM, Lancaster No. 104 and Mercer No. 777 who cook the fish, the ladies at Indian Hill Christian Church contribute the tasty desserts. The students at Danville Christian Academy serve the food with the assistance of community leaders.

The planning committee looks forward to the challenge of honoring veterans in 2012 when Veterans Day will be celebrated on Nov. 12. Anyone who would like to donate to this tax-deductible event in 2012 can mail a check: Atten: Veterans Appreciation Day Event, Heritage Hospice,Inc., P.O. Box 1213, Danville, Ky. 40423.

Several veterans shared their stories with John Robinson on video and we hope to share those with you soon. Videos from the 2010 Veterans Day luncheon are viewable below.
Heritage Hospice is working with a campaign conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization called We Honor Veterans. Hospice staff is learning how to better serve veterans through compassionate listening and grateful acknowledgement of all that veterans have done. Click here to see more photos
All aboard the Honor Flight
October 2011

Heritage Hospice Compliance Officer

Januski CPAWhat follows is my attempt to do at least some justice to what was a very memorable experience for Dad and me as we participated in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. so that he could tour the memorials dedicated to World War II and the Marines (Iwo Jima).
We flew as part of the Honor Flight Bluegrass program. On our flight were 120 WWII veterans and 50 guardians to accompany and assist the veterans. There was at least one WAC on this flight. I believe this was the first time the Bluegrass Chapter had had a woman veteran on an Honor Flight. Some of the WWII veterans had also served in the Korean conflict so included in the tour was the Korean War Memorial.
We arrived at the Louisville airport at 6:15 a.m. where Dad was issued his guest package. It contained his Honor Flight Bluegrass T-shirt (gray with the Flying Pegasus Honor Flight Bluegrass logo), a red lanyard with his ID badge with his name and boarding pass, his 27-exposure disposable camera and a pin for his hat with the Flying Pegasus logo, which he wanted on his collar.
On the back of Dad’s T-shirt was printed: “If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran.” Previously, Dad had wanted to go to Walmart and buy a khaki “uniform” consisting of khaki pants and a two-pocket shirt. So over this went the gray T-shirt.
Every veteran was also wearing a cap to identify his branch of the service. Dad’s whole outfit was topped off by his red USMC hat. I also received a guest package containing a red lanyard/ID and a blue T-shirt with the identical logo. The back of mine identified me as a “guardian” and contained the quote by Will Rogers: “We can’t all be heroes. Some of us get to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”
While we waited to board the plane, Dad was interviewed by a TV reporter from a Lexington, KY, station who was making the trip with us. It seemed apparent that Dad was the oldest veteran making the flight. I’m not sure how the interview went, given that Dad doesn’t always make perfect sense, but he was tickled to be asked.
Our IDs/names had already been cleared by Homeland Security and special VIP security had been arranged for us. We had only to show our photo IDs to pass through and board the plane. I had thought this might be a bit of a problem for Dad as, at 95, his last driver’s license had been issued in 2003 and showed a much younger face. But, the officer in charge just saluted Dad and called him “Marine,” and waved him through.
At about 8 a.m., we boarded a 737 jet chartered for our flight from Miami Air. On each of our seats was a headrest cover with the Flying Pegasus logo. The day was absolutely gorgeous, sunny and cloudless with temperatures in D.C. forecast to be in the mid- to upper-60s. Neither Dad nor I am a particularly good flyer but we both managed the smooth flight to Baltimore without incident. He even managed to eat some of the in-flight breakfast!
As we taxied to our gate at the Baltimore airport, we received an official ”Welcome to Washington” which consisted of two fire trucks, one on either side of our jet spraying us with a deluge of water! Inside the airport, we were met by members of the Maryland Honor Flight chapter. They applauded the veterans as we deplaned, shaking their hands and thanking them for their service.
As we made our way to the final exit, an honor guard of approximately 20 service men and women were standing with flags to shake hands with the veterans. They too said, “Thank you for your service” to the veterans as they passed. We boarded four large, comfortable tour buses for the trip into D.C. Before departing, an admiral spoke to us, commending and expressing gratitude to the veterans for their service. He reminded us of how close the world came to chaos during the ’40s and of how the United States came together to meet the challenge at that time. He reminded the veterans that they are the Greatest Generation.
As our convoy of buses proceeded into D.C., we were led the whole way by an escort from Rolling Thunder: two riders on a motorcycle with two U.S. flags mounted on it. During the 35-minute ride into D.C., we were shown a very interesting video about the WWII Memorial which incorporated a lot of history of the war. Our Rolling Thunder escort led us into the heart of D.C, past the Washington Monument, to the intersection where we turned on Independence Avenue to head toward the WWII Memorial. At the WWII Memorial, we met up with family!
Jeff, Dad’s youngest grandson, had rearranged his work schedule at the Department of Defense and come in from Baltimore to spend some time with Dad and to help him celebrate this most special day. Dad’s face just lit up when he saw Jeff for the first time! Jeff helped us find our way into the massive memorial. While Dad and Jeff explored the Pacific Arch, I took some photos and gave them some time to catch up. We also sat on a welcome bench and looked at Dad’s photos from his time in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The three of us walked around the ellipse of the Memorial and took photos before the New York column, and the Iwo Jim and Tarawa engravings at the foot of the Pacific Arch. Jeff pointed out that the WWII Memorial is situated such that one can see both the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial from it. The significance of WWII for maintaining the principles of freedom and democracy made this site on the Mall particularly appropriate.
We got word that Sen. Bob Dole was outside the memorial so we made our way out, where I was able to get a quick snapshot of him just as he was getting ready to leave. Two other groups of Honor Flight veterans were also visiting this memorial while our Bluegrass chapter was there: a small group from Kansas and a larger group, maybe 20 or so from New Mexico. The buses then made the relatively short journey to the Korean War Memorial. We had box lunches from Arby’s on the bus. Dad opted to stay on the bus and rest during this part of the trip. As a Guardian, I was supposed to help out any/all veterans if Dad didn’t need assistance so I went with two veterans down to the memorial while Dad rested.
Our next stop was over the river to the Marine (Iwo Jima) Memorial. I think this was the one Dad was most looking forward to. I can remember Dad saying for years how much he wanted to visit this Memorial. In 1998, when he and I went to D.C. to see the Women in Military Service to America Memorial, he was too tired to take this one in, even though we had tentatively planned on doing so.
An extra nice thing was that as we were winding our way toward the parking area for the memorial, the bus leader announced that we were passing Fort Myer on the left with Arlington National Cemetery on the right. Fort Myer was where Mom was barracked during the War and, as I looked to the right, the view appeared to be the same as we have in one of the photos she took of the cemetery. I could imagine her walking perhaps down that road, into the cemetery, taking photos.
At the Iwo Jima Memorial, Dad was again honored to see both grandson Jeff and great-grandson Jeff Jr., who had also arranged his day to have time in the afternoon to spend with Dad! The three Juteau/Robinson men walked around the base of the huge Memorial while I snapped photos of it from a number of angles. The Iwo Jima Memorial struck both Dad and me as much larger than we had pictured it. The sculptures themselves are bronze but the flag flying overhead is cloth, which seems very appropriate. Engraved around the base are the conflicts in which the Marines have fought and, at the center of one side, is the “Uncommon Valor” emblem. We took several significant photos at this site. The group photo for the Honor Flight was taken here with all 120 veterans somehow squeezed in front of the Memorial. When you see this photo, Dad will be standing in the middle of the second or third row with his red cap on. They then asked for any Iwo Jima veterans present; only five were with us. These five were grouped and their photo taken.
Most significant of all is the photo of Dad, me, Jeff and Jeff Jr., the four generations assembled together to honor Dad on this site. We drafted another guardian to take this most important photo for us. At about 4:30 p.m., we parted from Jeff and Jeff Jr., reboarded the busses for the final time and headed back to Baltimore. What took us only about 35 minutes in the morning took more than two hours in the afternoon. Such traffic!
We arrived back at the Baltimore airport, hit the restrooms, sped through security with the same VIP clearance, reboarded our plane (which had been waiting all day for us) and were in the air by about 7:45 p.m. Supper on the plane was very welcome as everyone was pretty hungry by then! I had thought Dad would be tired and ready to nap by then but he was pretty talkative, thinking back through the many experiences of the day. Seeing Jeff and Jeff Jr. really made his day. His favorite memorial, hands down, was the Iwo Jima. “I never thought I’d really get to see it” was his first comment, along with “It’s huge!”
We guardians knew that awaiting the veterans back in Louisville was a homecoming celebration but we’d been sworn to secrecy. We’d been told that about 150 VFW, auxiliary, Scouts, family members and others turned out to wave flags, applaud and shake hands and thank them for their service. What awaited this particular Honor Flight were more than 500 such supporters. They were formed in two lines of 250 each.
After deplaning and forming a group, we made our way through this double line of applause and cheers. About every 20 feet someone held a large flag. Several people were in uniform; some saluted these veterans. Most just reached out to shake hands and to say “Thank you so much for your service.”
At one point, Dad came upon a whole “nest” of Marines, all with red jackets and/or caps. We were both teary even before this but they made such a fuss over him here that I could hardly see for the tears. They asked him where he served and when, called him “Marine,” etc. Everyone around me seemed to be just as tearful and appreciative. The line seemed never to end.
I knew Dad had to be exhausted after all the walking he had done that day but he stood up straight and kept on going. As we emerged from this “tunnel” of honor, the professional photographer snapped Dad’s photo so I think it will be in the photo gallery posted on the website.
Milton, my husband, was near the end of the line of supporters, applauding like everyone else. He whisked us away from the airport and to our hotel in record time, which still meant 11:30 p.m. before Dad got gratefully into bed at the end of a very long but very exciting day. Of the 120 veterans on the flight, I am pretty sure Dad was the oldest. He joined the USMC in 1942 at the age of 26 while some of the others entered their branch of the military much later in the war, 1944 or 1945 at the age of 17 or 18. About 25 or 30 of the veterans were in wheelchairs, at least part of the time.
While I encouraged Dad to “ride” at least part of the time, especially through the long journeys to the gates in the airports, he insisted on walking with his two-wheeled walker the whole time. He says he didn’t get tired and that his legs held up fine. He certainly stayed in great spirits all day long. As you might expect, Dad didn’t really “reach out” to any of the other veterans but I suspect his poor hearing and difficulty processing language at this point may have had something to do with that.
I can’t say enough positive things about the Honor Flight Bluegrass program. From the overall organization — scheduling, arranging the flight and the buses, the VIP security clearance, the welcoming honor guards at the airports, keeping the wheelchairs coming for the non-ambulatory and that huge homecoming celebration in Louisville — to the tiniest detail, like the headrest covers on the plane and the hat pins for the veterans, their dedication to the veterans is clearly a top priority. While precision and organization were extremely important, it seemed obvious that consideration and respect for these men (and women) were paramount. I think I’ve told you all before but it bears repeating: everything Dad experienced was free to him. No veteran pays anything for the Honor Flight experience. In our case, this entire Honor Flight was underwritten by one anonymous Kentucky Colonel. So, all in all, it was an awesome experience for both of us. Dad’s not terribly expressive. But he held onto my hand on the flight home and thanked me for making this possible. I’ll take that to the bank any day.

Level 1 status earned in We Honor Veterans
September 2011

Heritage Hospice, Inc., has completed the requirements for earning Level 1 status, the first of four ranks, in the We Honor Veterans program.
The program began in September 2010 as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recognized that one in four dying Americans are veterans and set out to better serve those who have served their country.
This national campaign, conducted in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, works with community hospice programs to improve the quality of care provided to veterans. Heritage Hospice, which serves Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties, is one of eight Kentucky hospices enrolled in the program and among 900 community hospices working on completing requirements to better serve veterans.
Heritage Hospice staff is training about how to better care for veterans and working more closely with Veteran Administration Medical Center staff to improve service.
One exciting development of the program is that a staff member, Victoria Scarborough, and her 95-year-old father, Walter Juteau, who was at the Battle of Iwo Jima will be aboard an Oct. 6 Honor Flight to see the monuments in Washington, D.C. In another area, volunteers with military backgrounds are paired with veteran patients because of the special bonds they share. As part of the We Honor Veterans program, a military checklist is completed for every veteran admitted to hospice. It determines such important information as whether the veteran is receiving military benefits.
Participation in We Honor Veterans empowers local hospices, such as Heritage Hospice, with tools and resources to better understand and meet the end-of-life needs of veterans and their families. “We Honor Veterans is a wonderful opportunity for hospice to accompany and support veteran patients and their families through respectful inquiry, compassionate listening, and grateful acknowledgment of their service to our country,” says Janelle Wheeler, executive director of Heritage Hospice. “We are committed and honored to serve the men and women who gave and continue to give so much to use through their service.”

Burial benefits for veterans
Oct. 31, 2011
Veterans can take advantage of several burial benefits, such as being buried in a national cemetery. Government benefits include a headstone or marker and a flag, Even if they are buried in a private cemetery, they can receive a headstone, marker and flag. Burial allowances are available in some cases. Click here to learn more
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