Hundreds Show Up Despite Snowstorm to Honor Unattended Veteran

 

The mission of Abode’s Bereavement program is to provide the best bereavement program for our clients, their communities, and our staff. When Mark S., Abode Hospice Bereavement Coordinator and Chaplain, discovered that a recently deceased patient, Clyde, was an unattended veteran, he set into action. As a first step, Mark reached out to the community Clyde resided in.

When Clyde passed, the community he lived in was grieving. He had no family nearby, simply a sister who was unable to travel due to age. Mark reached out to the community to meet with them and provide support. It was discovered Clyde was an unattended veteran and would be buried at Pike’s Peak National Cemetery, with only Mark and the funeral staff guaranteed to be there.

Something had to be done to make sure this veteran was not laid to rest alone. While working with the funeral home and local VFW, word got out about Clyde’s funeral and that he had no family able to attend.

As a result, the media blew up. Facebook, newspapers, TV stations – it was unbelievable.

The day of the funeral arrived accompanied by a snowstorm. Schools, businesses, and roads were closed due to the treacherous conditions, but the community of Colorado Springs still showed up. Hundreds of people from the community and local Military groups in uniform all came so Clyde would not be laid to rest alone.

Cars lined the road as the cemetery began to overflow. Snow fell as the bagpipes played while he was walked to the front of the crowd in the beautiful casket Evergreen Funeral Home donated.

“The way the community came together to honor Clyde was like nothing I had ever seen before,” Mark, Bereavement Coordinator & Chaplain, stated in awe.

Mark accepted the flag on Clyde’s behalf and has contacted the VFW where his sister lives so they can personally present it to her. She is forever grateful for this gesture.

It’s true that you don’t truly understand the unabashed power of community until you are a part of one. The community of Colorado Springs showed up for this unattended veteran and demonstrated that he was not alone.

“To the hundreds of individuals that showed up to pay respect to a man you didn’t know, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for standing together as a community of proud Americans to honor a Veteran who sacrificed for our country. Thank you to the amazing team at Abode Hospice for taking care of people and always going above and beyond.” – Christal Ransom York, Director of Public Relations & Community Liaison

One Final Game

Abode Hospice & Home Health was able to make this patient’s dream come true of attending one final Broncos game with his granddaughter. This was a very special event for the both of them, as you can tell by their heart-warming smiles. Victor loves the team and was overflowing with excitement throughout the entire game.

This experience was made possible by Bristol Brewing Company. Thanks to their generosity and donating two tickets for Victor and his granddaughter, they were able to share this unforgettable experience together.

Abode Hospice & Home Health is honored each time we can help make patients’ wishes come true at the end-of-life. We strive to provide unique, individualized care to each of our patients.

Soaring Above & Beyond for Our Patients

         

Being able to grant our hospice patients one last wish is always a very heartwarming experience for everyone involved. In this case, having the chance to facilitate a flyover for this WWII fighter pilot and Vietnam veteran, who had been flying for more than 40 years, had everyone involved feeling a little extra thankful for our veterans that day.

The patient’s granddaughter was able to arrange a flyover with a P-51 Mustang plane – the exact plane which he piloted in WWII – over his home. While surrounded by his family and friends, this was a wonderful experience for this true American hero. As his granddaughter expressed, “Thank you all for making this day possible for my grandfather! Our family will be forever thankful for Abode.”

The granddaughter went on to explain that the patient had always enjoyed telling stories to his great-grandson about his flying experiences and how he stopped the ‘bad guys.’ The patient also had a collection of P-51 Mustang planes, as it was his favorite plane model.

As the plane flew over the patient’s home, smiles were had by everyone – especially the guest of honor. With the American flag flying high, cheers, and waving, this was truly an experience deserving of an American hero.

These Life Inspiring Events are just a small part of what Abode does to soar above and beyond for its patients. We strive to provide any sort of joy or comfort available to the patients during their time with hospice.

  • Left photo: The photo on the left is of the patient and his family. This photo includes four generations who were all able to experience this event together.
  • Middle photo: The middle photo is of the patient with staff members who helped make this event possible.
  • Right photo: The photo to the right is of the P-51 Mustang that was flown.