Reader's View: Reach out about care for veterans

November 10, 2013 

Americans across the country celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a special day to salute the men and women who have bravely served our country in the military.

These fellow Americans have made profound sacrifices in defense of freedom and they deserve our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. Honoring our nation’s veterans includes supporting them throughout their entire lives, especially at the end.

As our nation marks Veterans Day, First Choice Home Health & Hospice deepens our commitment to increase veterans’ access to the compassionate, high-quality care available from the nation’s hospice and palliative care providers. One of the ways we’re making this happen is through our active involvement with We Honor Veterans, an innovative program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization that was created in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There is something else that’s important for every American to do — and that is to say, “thank you” to our country’s veterans. Not just on Nov. 11, but all year long.

Ask your friends, neighbors, coworkers and others in your community whether they have served in the military (you may be surprised how many have) — and thank those who have served for their sacrifice.

It surprises many Americans to learn that every day, 1,800 veterans die. That’s more than 650,000 veterans every year — or 25 percent of all the people who die in this country annually.

If you know a veteran who is in need of the special care hospice and palliative care bring to people facing serious and life-limiting illness, please reach out and help them learn more about care options. Information is available from NHPCO’s Caring Connections at www.caringinfo.org or by calling the HelpLine at 1-800-658-8898.

To all our nation’s veterans, thank you.

If you would like to support work being done at the national level to expand care for veterans at the end of life, please visit www.WeHonorVeterans.org/Support.

Kara L. Craig, M.A., is hospice administrator for First Choice Home Health & Hospice in Boise.

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