Programs & Services
"We honor veterans" is a program designed to thank veterans and their families for their sacrifice and service to our country. Gilchrist has partnered with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and our local VA offices to begin better understanding the complex end of life care needs of veterans. Through discussion, life review and special "pinning ceremonies," we work to ensure that the contributions and extra needs of this special group are recognized and respected.
Since July 2012, Gilchrist has completed three out of four levels of the We Honor Veterans partnership and made great strides in our ability to better serve veterans and their families. Our commitment to completing all four levels is steadfast: It will allow us to show our patients that we are committed to providing the finest in end of life care for veterans.
A touching part of the program is the pinning ceremony. It allows us to say "thank you" to our patients for their service to our nation. In coordination with the patient's family, the Gilchrist staff and volunteers come together to present the veteran with a special pin as a token of our thanks and gratitude. Our hope is that every time patients see their pin, they know that their military service is deeply appreciated.
Gilchrist recognizes the hardships that all veterans have endured as a result of their willingness to risk their lives to maintain our freedom.
Special pinning ceremonies
May 25, 2015 - Memorial Day
Retired Navy Second Class Petty Officer, Warren (Bud) Gensler, never had aspirations to be a poet. But in 2007, he wrote a poem about his experiences in WWII, specifically at Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima where he helped carry the flag to the men for the first raising. He often read the poem at Memorial Day ceremonies, but as the years passed, it became increasingly more difficult for him to do so. In 2015, he expressed interest again and it was arranged for him to read his poem in front of a small audience at Joyous Assisted Living in White Marsh.
November 11, 2014
On Veterans Day, more than 35 Gilchrist staff and volunteers fanned out across the region to conduct Pinning Ceremonies at facilities operated by our partner Lorien Health Systems. From Mt. Airy to Havre de Grace, from Elkridge to Columbia and Towson, nearly 300 veterans were honored and their sacrifices acknowledged. Members of Gilchrist's Facility Based Care Teams and Gilchrist volunteers offered pins of gratitude and remembrance to all resident veterans, and not just those who are part of our hospice program.
July 4, 2013
There are occasions where we have the pleasure of pinning several veterans in special ceremonies. In 2013, we coordinated with Oak Crest Retirement Village to have two - one for July 4th and one on Veterans Day where we pinned 195 veterans. On Veteran's Day, there was a choir, color guard and notable speakers such as Gilchrist Board Chair and retired General Benjamin Lucas and retired First Sgt. Matthew Eversmann whose heroic story unfolds in the book and movie Black Hawk Down.
View a brief video of Benjamin Lucas' speech and a few closing remarks from Gilchrist Executive Director, Cathy Hamel.