CHPC launched its veteran recognition program on May 20 with the pinning of WWII veteran, Marie C. Dean-Harmony. The County Veterans Services Administration collaborated with CHPC on this inaugural ceremony with Colonel Gary Chilcott performing the pinning.
Marie Dean-Harmony was one of 59,000 nurses who served in the Army Nurse Corps. Within the “chain of evacuation” established by the Army Medical Department during WWII, nurses served near the front lines in field and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. The skill and dedication of these nurses contributed to the extremely low post-injury mortality rate among American military forces in every theater of the war. More than 200 nurses died in combat.
“My mother served in the 142nd Army Mobile Hospital Unit,” said George Harmony, Marie’s son. “Besides serving in the 142nd supporting the Flying Tigers in Calcutta, she served on Alcatraz Island which served as a military hospital before it was a prison.” One word summarized George’s description of the pinning ceremony: “Fantastic!”
Marie was awarded four medals at the pinning ceremony: the WWII Victory Medal, the Humanitarian Service Metal, the American Campaign Medal and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin.
Recognition of veterans under hospice care is intended to benefit both the patient and family. Sometimes veterans have kept their war experiences deep inside and need to share them; families treasure the opportunity to learn about their loved one’s service. “The pinning ceremony can serve to open the door to wonderful family conversations,” said Tom Summerville, VP of Clinical Services. “More than anything, the pinning ceremony is just a nice gesture.”
CHPC’s pinning ceremony was developed with the help of veteran volunteers Rolly Kidder, Dave Shepherd, Mike Lyons and Marty Idzik. CHPC will now work to recognize all its veteran patients who will allow us to honor them.