Mountain Hospice held a Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony on Friday, March 29th, at the Elkins American Legion – Post 29, to honor and celebrate Vietnam Veterans.
Veterans and their families were treated to an evening of guest speakers, refreshments, and the company of other veterans and their families.
The evening started off with Don Trimble, CEO, of Mountain Hospice, welcoming the veterans and their families to the ceremony. “We decided at Mountain Hospice that we would like to recognize you men, and women, and welcome you home like you should have been the first time,” said Trimble. He also said that this will be the first of an annual event.
Charles Ranew, a Vietnam Veteran, was a guest speaker at the ceremony. “Most Vietnam Veterans don’t talk about some of their experiences. Most of the stuff we saw over there as 18 and 19 year olds is not really anything you want to talk about,” Ranew said. He then asked all the veterans in the room to stand, no matter what war they served in. He then asked the family members to stand. “You too are veterans, you just don’t know it. You stayed home, you did the worrying, you did the praying, you did everything while your veteran was overseas at a war. You too are as much of a veteran as we are, and we thank you for your service.”
Robin Delaney, Nurse Liaison, for Mountain Hospice, talked about her experience as a small child growing up in West Virginia during the Vietnam War. “I used to go to my granny’s house, and it was routine for us to always watch the evening news. I remember the sadness on granny’s face when they would show pictures of our brave soldiers, and then after that came the names of the soldiers who had gave their lives for the United States of America. They sacrificed their lives, they sacrificed their beliefs, and sometimes even their souls,” Delaney said. She concluded: “The thing I hope you understand from a young girl growing up in the hills of West Virginia is that I always, always, respected you and will be forever grateful for your service.”
Elkins Mayor Van Broughton was also at the ceremony and proclaimed March 29th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”. “First off, I would like to thank you all for your service, and for what you’ve done for your country. We are here today enjoying our freedoms you fought for. So again, thank you and God Bless each of you all,” Broughton said.
Closing the ceremony, the staff and volunteers of Mountain Hospice were asked to join Don Trimble on stage. He made a commitment to the veterans, and their families, that Mountain Hospice will always be there for them if they need anything at all. “We’ll always be here for you,” said Trimble, “all you have to do is call us and we will be there.”
For more information about Mountain Hospice, or future Vietnam Veteran Ceremonies, call (304) 823-3922 or visit their website.