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Celebrate Veterans Day all year long

Date: 11/21/2012

It's never too late to say 'thank you' to our nation's Veterans: even at the end of life

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military.

These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation's Veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.

As our nation marks Veterans Day, Hospice Services of Western Massachusetts deepens our commitment to increase Veterans' access to the compassionate, high quality care available from the nation's hospice providers.

One of the ways we're making this happen is through our active involvement with We Honor Veterans, an innovative program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that was created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There is something else that's important for every American to do – and that is to say, "thank you" to our country's Veterans. Not just on Nov. 11, but all year long.

Ask your friends, neighbors, coworkers and others in your community whether they have served in the military (you may be surprised how many have) – and thank those who have served for their sacrifice.

It surprises many Americans 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.

If you know a veteran who is in need of the special care that hospice brings to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about care options.

It is important that these veterans, who sacrificed their own lives for our freedom, are allowed to complete their final journey with the dignity and the special personalized care that they truly deserve.

Ann Johnson

Feeding Hills