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Celebrating Lives Stories - Honoring Lucy Bridgman, Veteran and Nurse

Hospice Patient Honored for Service as U.S. Air Force Veteran and Nurse

Lucy Bridgman, an Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton patient, was recently honored for her service as a Veteran and a nurse at a local nursing home. 

Staff and volunteers recognized Bridgman for her service as a Second Lieutenant Air Force Reserve Nurse through a Veteran recognition ceremony and a Nursing Honor Guard ceremony. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, both ceremonies were held at Bridgman’s window. Her family was in attendance outside, and they brought her a cake to celebrate the occasion. 

During the Veteran recognition ceremony, an American Pride® Veteran Care by Ohio’s Hospice volunteer Veteran presented Bridgman with an American Pride flag pin for her service, as well as a pin honoring her husband’s service in the U.S. Air Force. She also was read the Airman’s Creed. 

“All Bridgman attendees were absolutely overjoyed with the ceremony, especially the recognition of late husband and father, Charles J. Bridgman,” said Tom Bridgman, Bridgman’s son.  

Through the American Pride program, Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton honors the service of Veteran patients and assures them of receiving the highest quality of care. In addition to celebrating and thanking Veterans for their service, American Pride assists patients in obtaining access to all the benefits to which Veterans are eligible, provides spiritual support, and addresses individual post-traumatic stress issues. 

The Ohio’s Hospice Nursing Honor Guard ceremony was performed by Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton staff. Bridgman received the Florence Nightingale lantern and was recognized for her commitment to caring and providing compassion to patients. 

“Both of these ceremonies were spectacular,” said Ashley Waulk, RN care manager at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “It was one of the most special and fulfilling days of my nursing career. It is an honor and a privilege to provide care for our patients and families.” 

Bridgman grew up in Rome, New York. She received a scholarship to attend Academy of Holy Names, a college-preparatory school for girls. She later studied at St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, where she made lifelong friends during her training. 

Shortly after graduating from St. Joseph’s in 1952, she was appointed as a Second Lieutenant Air Force Reserve Nurse. She served for one year and seven months in the U.S. Air Force. 

She went on to raise six children with her late husband, Charles Bridgman. She is the grandmother of 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Bridgman’s son, Tom, recalls his parents as very humble, caring and giving individuals throughout their lives.  

Bridgman’s husband, Charles, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1952. He later achieved the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force, then transferred to a civilian employee. He was also a professor of nuclear engineering, associate dean, and professor emeritus at the Air Force Institute of Technology, where he served for more than 50 years until his passing in November 2015. 

Bridgman’s son is very grateful for the staff and volunteers who care for his mother and made the ceremonies special. “The amount of compassion, energy and support Hospice provided was beyond any of our expectations,” he said.  

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