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Archive | April, 2012

Eric & David’s Story – A Walk To Remember

by Chaplain Eric Holley

This story is about two men who found each other through their acts of service, one for his country the other for his fellow man.

In the 1960’s David joined the U.S. Marines Corps while I, as a first grader,  answered a questionnaire indicating I wanted to be a minister. In September of  2011 our individual walks brought us together as we met at the Dayton International Airport to board a flight to Washington D.C. together.  We were part of the Honor Flight, which enables veterans to visit Washington D.C. monuments honoring their service.  On that early Friday morning we boarded, David was the only Vietnam veteran among 34 former soldiers. I was serving as a hospice chaplain and escort on the trip.  David was decked out in his Marine Corps shirt and hat, and was presented an Honor Flight T-shirt to wear for the day. David had never been to D.C., much less viewed the memorials.  He expressed mixed emotions about seeing the wall for the first time. I assured David I would be with him the whole way.

Our plane touched down at the Baltimore Airport and we boarded a bus to D.C.  Our first stop was the WW II memorial where David had his picture taken by the Ohio name plate. We took several photos of inscriptions on walls & decorations at the memorial. I took a break and when I looked around David had stepped out of his wheelchair and crossed two streets in an effort to get closer to the Jefferson Memorial. He laughed uncontrollably when I caught up with him & threatened to put him on a leash. We boarded the bus and traveled to the Iwo Jima memorial. This Marine swelled with pride as he stood beside the Marine Corps insignia as I took several photos of him with the memorial in the background. We then boarded the bus & drove to the Air Force memorial for lunch. We stood at the memorial in awe, looking at our nation’s capital and for the first time seeing sites we had previously only seen on T.V.  Just then I saw my Marine looking off to the left at a portion of the National Cemetery. This happened to be the section where several African American soldiers were buried in unmarked graves. David knew the story and shared it with me. The sadness in his eyes and the look of betrayal by his own country was nearly too much to bear.

We then boarded the bus and made our way to the Vietnam Memorial.  Anxiety had reached its apex in David’s mind by this time and everyone else on the bus shared the sense that “This is his memorial.”  We exited the bus and David sat in his wheelchair.  A nurse accompanied us to capture the visit on camera. Our first stop was a station containing what appeared to be a combined phone-book of L.A. & New York city when in fact it was an alphabetical list of those who sacrificed their all for their country. Tears began to fall as we looked for David’s friend, but could not find him because nick-names are not recorded. We turned and walked to the entrance where three soldiers in jungle gear were immortalized. I snapped a shot of David in front of the three statues and had he been dressed in his jungle gear he could have been the fourth man in the memorial.  Then we headed for “The Wall.”

As we approached the ramp leading down to the wall on our left David softly said, “Oh my God!” This was it, David’s first time at the wall viewing the names of his fallen brothers.  A flood of emotions overwhelmed him. David began to cry so I placed my hands on his shoulders & encouraged him saying, “You’re doing great Marine. You’re doing great.” As we approached the half way point David asked me to stop. He stood himself up unassisted, placed his left hand on the wall and wept. I was overwhelmed as I watched this weakened man have an unparalleled experience standing on his own, unassisted, connecting emotionally & spiritually with the some of the soldiers he served with some 40 years ago. I was focused on being with David in several ways & then I noticed many others were with David as well. The sound of camera clicks & flashes were heard all around him.

David sat down in his wheelchair & said, “I’m ready” and we began making our way up the ramp of the east wall.  We were nearly at the end when a man & his wife stopped us. The man reached out his right hand to David and said, “Welcome home Marine, welcome home.” The man’s wife knelt down in front of David looking him in the eyes & said, “Thank you for all you’ve done for this country.”

Upon exiting the plane on our return flight to Dayton we were greeted by a line of active Air Force men & women in uniform welcoming us home.  An atmosphere of humility settled on each veteran & many of them became a puddle of tears as they were overwhelmed with the crowd of well wishers congratulating them & thanking them. Several people sought out David as if they knew he was the only Vietnam vet & lavished their appreciation on him. A local ROTC unit was standing at attention holding the flags of the United States, the State of Ohio, & the Marine Corps & just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, an announcement came over the sound system indicating the colors will now be presented as we recite the pledge of allegiance. I watched men who had previously been unable to walk force themselves to stand, place their hands over their hearts, & with pride & through tears say, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty & justice for all.” No more could be said to describe the pride & humility present simultaneously.

I couldn’t seem to stop myself from asking David, “Was this a good trip for you or did it stir up too many hurtful memories?” Without hesitation David said, “Oh no! This was great. Seeing the memorials, having strangers thank me & welcome me home has brought me closure that I never had or ever thought I’d find. No, no, this was a trip I’ll never, ever forget.”

It was a trip I will never forget either.

Hospice of Dayton Opens New Community Care Station

Hospice of Dayton will mark National Minority Health Month with the dedication and opening of a new Community Care Station in the Wright Dunbar neighborhood of Dayton on April 25, 2012.

As Hospice of Dayton has grown to serve more patients than ever before, the organization is expanding its footprint to better serve the communities of the Miami Valley.   According to President/CEO Kent Anderson  “Our Community Care Stations create a more convenient and accessible point in the community for staff members who are serving patients.  Staff members can spend more time at the patient bedside because they are required to travel less. Providing easier access to all our services is in keeping with our mission to provide superior care and superior services to the patients and families we are privileged to serve.”

The new Community Care Station is located at 1137 West Third Street, Suite 200.  In addition to providing meeting and office space and supply storage for staff members, the site also has meeting space available for community use.  According to Anderson, “In addition to creating a more convenient and accessible location for staff members, the Community Care Stations also serve another important function for our mission.  They enable us to be present in the communities we serve by creating greater accessibility for our volunteer training, grief support programs and for community meetings.”

Hospice of Dayton began offering services in 1978, as the Miami Valley’s first not-for-profit hospice care provider.  Currently Hospice of Dayton serves over 4,000 patients annually and employs nearly 700 staff members.  Patients are provided care in their own homes, in extended care and assisted living facilities, area hospitals and in two Hospice Houses.  Over 600 volunteers support patient care efforts in an eight county service area.

Honoring our Volunteers

During National Volunteer Month, Hospice of Dayton and Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties honor over 614 volunteers, who contributed 61,124 hours of service in 2011.

Hospice volunteers are valuable members of a Quality of Life team serving hospice patients and their families.   Hospice volunteers perform a wide range of duties including support for patients and families by providing companionship, respite care, shopping, delivery of medications and supplies, pet therapy, massage, beautician and barber services, and gardening.  The serve as educators about hospice services in the community, create Memory Bears for loved ones, participate in honoring hospice patients who are veterans  and create Life Celebration videos.  Volunteers also provide clerical and office support, serve as receptionists, assist with fundraising events, data entry and serve as Ambassadors helping families whose loved ones are receiving in-patient care at Hospice of Dayton Hospice House and Lorelei’s Place, the Hospice House serving Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties.

“We have volunteers from every walk of life,” Volunteer Services Director Miriam Morrison explains.  “Volunteers in hospice find it personally gratifying, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally meaningful.  The common denominator is their desire to help others at a time of loss. Volunteers consistently report that helping the terminally ill through hospice is not about dying but about living.  Most are just people who want to help their friends and neighbors and serve the community.”

Volunteers with Hospice of Dayton and Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties participate in a required orientation, TB testing, background check, and additional training for positions involving direct patient care and special positions. Training sessions are provided on a monthly basis so that people can attend at their convenience.

Federal law requires that at least 5% of hospice patient care hours be provided by volunteers.  Volunteers provided 8.4% of the hours delivered in direct patient care in 2011 at Hospice of Dayton and Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties.

Hospice of Dayton and Hospice of Butler & Warren Counties thanks the following volunteers who make a difference in the lives of their friends and neighbors:

Belmont County:    Bellaire:  Kara Bobka

 Butler County

Franklin:  Marlene Artman, Gary Beiser, Paula Beiser, Kirk Hampton, Rich Hobbs, Gloria Osborne, Patricia Pursley

Middletown:  Jody Akers, Rachelle Burg, Marvin Clark, Phyllis Clark, Debbie Ellis, Janice Kash, Jerry Gump, Barry Shafer, Mertha Patsy Bailey

Monroe:  Joyce Wells

 Morrow: Carol Lamers, Dotty Rezabek, Sue Williams

 Trenton:  Marcia Halsy, Pat Wourms

West Chester:   Jim Jennings

 Clark County

Springfield:  Jessica Clemons, Marsha Franklin, Darlene Powers, Stephanie Robinson, Wilma Southward, Geneva Zerkle

Medway:  Patricia Prudhomme, Alice Kotte

New Carlisle:  Sherrie Bair, Marcy Beatty-Gray, Lee Ann Chadrick, Ray Jones, Ken Masny-Bushman, Gwen Seely

 Clinton CountyWilmington:  Fran Unger

Darke County:  Greenville: Hershel Fee

 Delaware County:   Ashley:  Haley Kreier

Greene County

Beavercreek: Teri Anderson, Kathy Brown, Thomas Brown, Sharon Carpenter, Arthur Casci, Patricia McWhirter, Robert Reifenberg, James Sauerbrey, Adam Altman, Rebecca Beesley, Jean Cochoy, Roxanne Copeland, Jonathan Corbett, Nicole Craker, Mai El Gasim, Ross Humes, Justine Kelly, Matt Kelly, Stephen Knox, Marie Landers, Omer McGlone, Vivian McGlone, Sarita Metzger, Ethel Northern, Carl Poling, Marilyn Raeth, Virgil Rehg, Lindsey Roberts, Lee Soeh, Bradley Slye, Brian Starr, Francis Swope, Ellen Whited, Jimmy Zimmerman, Louise Ashbaugh, Noel Ashbaugh, Debbie Barker, Cheryl Batchelor, Charles Hardwick, Kimberly Helton, Katherine Mashburn, Ann Bernice Sietman, Lu Ann Berry, Brian Dean, Evelyn Dunnigan, Steven Jennings, Carole Carson, Jennifer Miles Henrich, Becky Neufarth, Linda Parrott, Paul Rudolph, Wendy Campbell Julilation, Kecia Johnson, Denise Karmele, Jody McCurdy, Liz Shultz, David Bramlish, Kendra Kershner, Sharon Brandt, Dr. Ratna Palakodeti, Miriam “Bunny” Joseph

Bellbrook:  Denise DeWitt, Kathy Hatton, Katherine Lagedrost, Teresa Marsee, Denise Noel, Conny Poole, Sandy Porter, Janet Richie, Mary Sparkman, Peter Odgers, Peggy Moore, Carol Roe, Judy Schrunk

Cedarville:  James Gillispie

 Fairborn:  David Beam, Sonia Bennett, Patti Brueck, Ellen Brunson, Jane Clifton, Kimberly Code, Doug Daegele, Nicoletta Frankenstein, Willie Harrington, Jacob Hellickson, Augustine Hong, Audra Horomanski, Lee Long, Tom Narramore, Sarah Oros, Topaz Sampson, Chloe Sidney, Gregory Williams, Sharon Wilson, Connie Gover, Rosa Gover, John Gover, Judi Green, Darlene Herd, Vicky Lockhart, Pauline Micciche, Ann Pearson, Norman Pearson, JoAnne Powell, LaVerna Schiermeyer, Teresa Schiermeyer, Jim Soulati, Taylor Soulati, Wilma Soulati, Sally Vanzant

 Jamestown:  Helen Doane

Spring Valley:  John Smith

Xenia:  Tom Mann, Tina Onder, Judy Lee, Karen Clary, Denise Siwecki,

Yellow Springs:  Joyce McDonald, Maria Schuermeyer, Jeffrey Zabinski

Logan County:    Huntsville: Jeanne Carlson

Miami County

Tipp City:  Julie Beam, Chad Cox, Richard Mosier, Helen Stacy

Troy:  Jean Dawson, Lisa Dawson

Union: Sylvan and Mary Jo Eller, Danny and Marilyn McPherson, Lynn Vannorsdall, Dan Mecoli

Montgomery County

Brookville:  Patrick Gavin, Shannon Gavin, Robert Patrus

Centerville:  Delana Aungst, Frances Bankston, Vicky  Bamesberger, Karen Cameron, Tony Ciramella, Shirley Coey, Alyssa Dizek, Nicole Ehret, Becki Eschbach, Pam Esken, Dr. John Farrell, Donald Faw, Edward Graham, Kristy Harmon, Amanda Hatfield, Richard Jeckering, Maureen Josenhans, Ajit Kapadia, Surekha Kapadia, Chris Kilian, Asha Mahembrey, Diane Morgann, Pamela Morris, Deborah Mosher, Jodi Omodio, Barbara Pfeifer, Thomas Rutherford, Ralla Shrit, Cheri Spencer, Cheryl Trumble, Kristy Bellin, Maan Broadstock,Howard Burger, Judith Cerar, Helen Cohen, Robert Cohen, Rick Cothern, Nora Coyle-Biersack, Elizabeth Craddick, Mary DeNaples, Pat Forster, Lisa Gadd, Mary Hailey, Molly Horstman, Bette Imhof, John Jessup, Terry MacPherson, June Mathewson, Jay Morrison, James Neidhard, Lynn Olive, Heila Owsley, Charlotte Pernik, Jan Rardon, Toni Sprinkel, Christi Wilson, Sandra Cline, Kristin Jumer, Cindy Majusick, Catherine Meixmer, Carly Meixner, Pat Otten, Darinda Reis, Betty Schultz, Lois Sutherland, Eileen Tribby,  Jane Robbins, Joyce Robke, Terry Rockwell, Larry Sabin, Rae Ann Sapp, Jack Schimer, Mattie Watkins, Anne Watson, Donald Weckstein,Charlie Whitaker,  John Wood, Natalie Young, Mary Zimmerman, Bob Zinck

Clayton:  Linda Bany, Mollie Magee

Dayton:  Bernadine Lee, Sondra Landis, Annie Beall, Diane Fetterhoff, Shirley Hetzel, Donna Jackson, Kathleen Gall, Adam Gough, Sr. Cory Canon, Robert Corey, Florence Corey, Sylvia McBain, Barbara Rae, Brittany Bair, Lisa Pritchett, Barbara Zartman, Judi Law, Kelly Douple, Holly Douple, Cathe Mack-McGarry, Vicki Pegg, Elizabeth Terzian, Marilyn Ivory, Barb Blauman, Meg Doherty, Mary Louise Foley, Edward Meadow, Gary Pacernick, Matt Stoermer, Jack Whitmer, Sandy Zipperstein, Jack Choate, Susan Dyer, Steven Gehres, Thomas Klein, Patricia Norris, Mary Ellen Place, Mark Strickler, Cindy Back, Travis Back, Daribel Baker, Terrance Branner-Bullock, Melanie Graves, Barbara Runyon, Michael Runyon, Tracy Schaffner, Alice Ditto, Samantha Graham, Rae Voice, Hyla Weiskind, Brenda Cobbs-Allen, Sheila Smith-Rose, Marjorie Sawyer, Mable Seldon, Amatul Shafeek, Jennifer Bloom, Katherine Brown, Brooke Davis, Kay Dudding-Davis, Leslie DeMattie, Linda Doggett, Ayfer Ekiz, David Garrison, Judith Guenther-Adams, Maryann Horvath, Marian Hull, Carolyn Ireland, Kelly Kaletsky, Barbara Mengwasser, Susan Sundermeyer, Ellen Vanderburgh, Charles Douglas, Debbie Goldberg, Tom Hand, Caitlin Hensley, Joan Kline, Peggy Lakes, Jan Painter, John Stoudt, Ruby White, Rachel Cargle, Ann Cannon, Paulette Clement, Mallie England, Matthew Mangini, Verna Reese, April Ruffin, Tom Duncan, Lindsay Johnson, Thomas Mann, Marilyn Miller, Howard Michaels, Sandra Pierce, Richard Skelton, Denise Swick, Carol Sites, Dr. Gary LeRoy, Sean Vahldiek, Sylvia “Mary” Smith, Rachel Balaj, Tommy Balaj, Chuck Balaj, Carol Levitan, Patrick Miles, Claire Rodehaver, Jerry Tatar, Jillian Hazlett, Tracy Whited, Brenda Byrd, James Illich, Linda Shade, Fonda Lugabihl, Brenda Rex, Erik Smith, Rita Anspach, Emily Robillard, Kristen Wilson, Marissa D’Agostino, Chelcie Hinders, Betty Lewandowski, Paula MacIlwaine, Ryan Makkas, Jennifer Makkas, Caitlin Pearn, Burnell Roberts, John Roll, Pamela Stephens, Annie Craig, Bobbi Eaton, Gary Hartman, Robert “Chip” Mues, Kathy Newton, Barbara Smith, Constance Hilscher, Timothy Cox, Scarlett Wallace, Robert Brethen, James Schade, Kathy Conn, Dick Dyer, Robert Yeck, Sharon Howley, Dan Yahn, Vera Haire, Lisa Witt, Laura Schuld, Andrew Urban

Englewood: Mary Ann Barrett, Doyce Crider, Susan Day, Larry Glickler, Mary Jane Munson, John Siehl, Pat Peter, Don and Nell Ross, Donna Stumpf, Barb Townsend, Darlene Vanatta, Ron Wyss

Farmersville:  Martha Dils, Karen Tobias

Germantown:  Patty Stricker, Mark Cross

Huber Heights:  Ted Arseneau, Jummai Azagaku, Cindy Byers, Judy Cole, Vickie Corbett, Vicki Hahn, Nicole Johnson, Kim Young, Irene Mascola, Marylena McQueen, Dorothy Reid, Mary Slattery, Leah Bryant, Janice Halldorson, Mary Jane Johnson, Peggy Jordan, Tracey Suntay, Mary Wright, MaryKate Yost

Kettering:  Nancy Andrews, Eleanor Bernstein, Jan Binegar, Patricia Cassidy, Ronda Dezarn, J. Michael Drake, Clarita “Re” Duffin, James Duffin, Robert Flavin Melody Klontz, Danny Morgan, Laurie Rammel, Carla Sidenstick, Rob Spaulding, Sue Spaulding, Marcella Roberts, Lynda Hoffman, Estelle Bunch, Pat Chapman, Judith DeAngulo, Rose Marie Brown, Opal Flynn, Nita Hart, Roz Klein-Nelson, Tori Lykins, Patricia Madden, Anna Mae Maurice, Joyce McQuown, Carl Nichols, Linda Poelking, Kathy Schroer, Corene Taylor, Amy VanDenekelle, Steven Weimer, Colleen Willhelm, Sally Williams, Charlotte Youngerman, Helen Christian, Lora “Ann” Cook, Bonnie Griffis, Billie Grote, the Kain family, June Wilhite, Lisa Belluardo, Sally Frost, Michael Lehn, Toni Lehn, Cynthia Perander, Judy Hayes, Matt Roll, Carolyn Wimer, Elizabeth Brown, Fran Limbert, Marla Morgan, Jan Zukowitz

Oakwood:  Ellen Boyer, Peggy Weller

Miamisburg:  Katie Armstrong, Wavelene Erhard, Diane “Griff” Griffin, Rick Martin, Connie Pavliga, Raymond Sacilotto, Pat Schultz, Linda Ratcliff,  Debbie Sisler, Jasmine Skees, Crystal Steed, Joan Wagner, Theresa Christian, Lisa Hanauer, Laura Lewis, Nancy Scott, Faye Smith, Larry Zumstein

Moraine: Joe Cox, Debbie Jones

New Lebanon:  Judy Clymer, Myrtis Howard

Phillipsburg:  Laurel Sylvester

Riverside:  Martha “TanakaMutiti, Ethel Northern, Louisa “Carmen” Davis, Richard Barker, Pamela McIntosh

 Trotwood: Amber Beavers, Beverly Cox-Dizaar, Jean Battle, Holly Campbell-Bradley, Kandi Howard, JoAnne Orihood, Dorothy Thompson, Mattie Watkins,  Zenar Tekeste

Vandalia:  Larry Alkire, Sue Allen, Stacy Besecker, Martha Coblentz, Heather Newman, Rene Vasquez, Sandy Spencer, Greg Toman, Therese Plaspohl

 West Carrollton:  Belinda Post, Susan Christman, Jennifer, Cunningham, Doris Stringer

Preble County:    

Eaton:  Robyn Shope

West Alexandria: Ainslie Arnett

Warren County:

 Carlisle:  Imogene Kidd

 Lebanon:  Helen Albino, Gerry Argento, Martha Blair, B. Cecil “Butch” Cates, Kathleen Colclasure, Judy Hadhazy, Gayle Irons, Martha King, Jacqueline McGough, Donna Shaw, Nancy Toepfer, Michele Ullum, Kim Scoville, Catriona “Fay” Smillie, Angella Tapogna, Belinda Wright, Pat Milton, Kristine Carter

Maineville:  Patricia Rawson, Stella Ray, Pat Heit

 Mason:  Sandi Beck, Darlene Center, Ruth Gattinella

 Oregonia:  Charissa Duncan, Sharlene Peyton

 Springboro: Krissy Adams, Alyssa Adams, Mike Bradstreet, Jane Cook, Margaret Cook, Tricia Etter, Darlene Ferris, Kristin Geerken, Lois Gillihugh, C. Stanley Gockel, Donna Hanby, Brian Kest, Maansi Kulkarni, Saagar Kulkarni, Sandra Oswald, Karen Metro, Cindy Schulte, Janie Ridd, Ron Smith

Waynesville:  Pam Campbell, Dan Erlandson, Gwendolyn “June Coleman, Bill Gaver, David Gasper

Hamilton:  Linda O’Connor


Liberty, IN:  Susan Cornett

Indianapolis IN:  Sharon Waddell