Veteran hospice volunteers: Each one a hero

Posted by Tom Severin, Veteran Volunteer

Veteran hospice volunteers: Each one a hero
Vietnam veteran and JourneyCare volunteer Tom Severin, with his his therapy dog, Magic.

As part of the We Honor Veterans partnership with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Veterans Administration (VA), military veterans volunteer to visit JourneyCare hospice patients who are also veterans and have a special and meaningful bond that only those with military experience share.

Last year JourneyCare cared for nearly 1,200 veterans across our 10-county service area. Each veteran patient in our care has the opportunity to be honored by a JourneyCare hospice veteran volunteer. A brief but meaningful pinning ceremony is performed, and a certificate of honor is presented by a member of our Veteran Volunteer Advisory Council, which engages veteran-centric event planning, training and educational opportunities.

For the JourneyCare veteran volunteers and Veteran Volunteer Advisory Council members, the days, hours and minutes that lead up to a pinning ceremony for a veteran in hospice care invite contemplation. 

Our hospice veteran volunteers chose to serve a cause greater than their selves. They saw their country threatened. They signed up to confront the threat. They felt some tug, they answered some call, and they said, "Let’s go." That spirit that says, “When my country is challenged, I will do my part to meet that challenge.” 

Veteran Volunteer Tom Severin and K9 Magic with full captionOur JourneyCare hospice veteran volunteers have served in some of the most dangerous places. Their service has been selfless. Their accomplishments have been extraordinary. We owe them a debt we can never repay. We remember them and what they did and why they had to be brave for us. 

Our veteran volunteers remember the faces and voices of fallen comrades. These are the hidden heroes of a peaceful nation:  our colleagues, friends, neighbors and family members who answered the call and returned to live in the land they defended. 

We honor every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coast Guardsman who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life, itself, on our behalf. 

Our whole nation honors every patriot who placed duty and country before their own lives. Our hearts are filled with respect and gratitude for the veterans of the United States of America.

If you are a military veteran interested in volunteering, or know a veteran who might be willing to spend a few hours a month visiting veteran hospice patients and performing honoring ceremonies, learn more and apply on our website, or contact Linda Rockwell at 847-556-1778 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

JourneyCare is one of the only nonprofit hospices in the Chicago area that is recognized by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) as a partner in the We Honor Veterans program. 

To learn more about JourneyCare’s We Honor Veterans and all the special ways this program helps veteran patients and their families throughout the year, visit

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