Washington Evening Journal
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Mt. Pleasant EveryStep Hospice patient and U.S. Army Signal Corps veteran Wesley Topping, 71, was recently honored during a special veteran pinning ceremony in July.
Topping, a Vietnam veteran, was a boots-on-the-ground member of the U.S. Army Armor Company and as such prepared weapons and ammunition near the demilitarized zone – the border between North and South Vietnam.
Topping was joined at the ceremony by his brothers Carl and Dennis and his daughters, Mindy Vogt, Kathy Countryman, Tiffany Sallee and Julie Carr. During the presentation, he received a certificate, flag pin and small flag from his Mt. Pleasant EveryStep Hospice care team and the organization’s volunteers. Topping also received a patriot quilt that was donated by a group of local quilters.
Veteran pinning ceremonies provide honor, dignity and recognition to veterans at the end of their lives. Family members and friends are often on hand with EveryStep staff and volunteers during the celebratory events, which include the Pledge of Allegiance, the awarding of a veteran service flag pin, the singing of “God Bless America,” a reading of "What is a Veteran," and the presentation of a certificate of recognition.
EveryStep’s Veteran-to-Veteran program is a service pairing veterans who are volunteers with hospice patients who have served the country. A specialized veteran-to-veteran volunteer can provide companionship while talking, reading and sitting with patients. Veterans bring a unique skill set to help patients come to terms with past events, and find peace at end of life.
The EveryStep Mt. Pleasant Hospice team is in special need of veteran volunteers. If you would like to learn more about the veteran-to-veteran program and how to become involved, call 515-333-5810 or visit https://www.everystep.org/volunteer/get-started.