“Your country is forever grateful, Jerry.”
Last Patrol volunteers honored Jerry Vaughn, a 1st Infantry Division “Big Red One” Vietnam veteran. Jerry is now in hospice care with @Patriot Hospice. He was born in 1948 and served in the Army from Mar 1968 – 1971.
After military service, Jerry worked in parts and ball-bearing manufacturing for 40 years. He didn’t have children but was a good friend of the youth, loyally volunteering for his local elementary school system, helping management with various tasks that needed getting done. He was a big NASCAR fan and loved watching big racing events on TV. Jerry has 3 sisters and 2 brother. One sister is his caregiver.
We salute you, Jerry, as you proceed on your Last Patrol.
“Proud to have served in the Big Red One!”
Jimmie Babb served in the storied 1st Infantry Division, the “Big Red One.” He was an Army artilleryman in the 1950s. Today Jimmie is on his Last Patrol and in hospice care with @Providence Care.
Our volunteers and family recently gathered to honor Jimmie for his service to our country. He was presented several patriotic gifts and a Congressional Letter. After his military service, he worked in the Textile Industry and eventually became a specialist in sprinkler systems. He wants everyone to know that he’s very proud of his family and grateful for our team that honored him.
We salute you, Sir, as you proceed on your Last Patrol.
“He still salutes during the National Anthem.”
Family and our Last Patrol volunteers gathered recently to honor Thomas Carnes, a Marine veteran in hospice care with Agape Care Group. Carnes, confined to his bed and nearing his final hour, acknowledged our ceremony with the grace and courage expected of a Marine. With a very weak voice, he thanked us.
Thomas was read a Congressional Letter from Rep Ralph Norman and presented with a Patriot’s quilt and other gifts.
As the National Anthem was played in his room during our ceremony, Thomas saluted together with the other gathered veterans.
“You could see how happy he was.”
Seeing joy on a dying veterans face is one of our goals in honoring them. Family, friends, and Last Patrol volunteers gathered to recognize Del for his service to our country. Everyone who attended was impressed by the happiness, comradery, and respect that filled the room. Special thanks to the comfort dog Kare 9 Seth for attending our event.
You have our highest gratitude, Del Pieper, as you proceed on your Last Patrol.
“I was so happy he was my man,” said Mrs. Wise, as Last Patrol volunteers honored her husband, Jack Wise. They were married an incredible 79 years.
Jack is in hospice care with @AmedisysHospiceGreenvilleSC · Hospice. He served in the Army Air Corp during World War II. Volunteers presented Jack and his family several gifts to celebrate his service to our country.
Jack grew up in the Midwest. Later in life he served as an Associate Professor of Agriculture at the University of Nevada. The Wise’s also did missionary work in Africa.
“Sail on, brave sailor.”
Last Patrol volunteers in Charleston, SC, rallied to honor Navy Command Master Chief Roy Robertson, who is in hospice care with @agapecaregroup · Hospice.
Roy was a submariner and served multiple tours in Vietnam. He is married with children.
During our Honor Ceremony emotions ran strong. Certificates, quilts, and other items of special recognition, including a Congressional Letter from @Congresswoman Nancy Mace were presented to Roy. The participants came away from the ceremony with a renewed understanding of the important of national service.
We salute you, Roy, as you proceed on your last patrol.
Vietnam Veteran Tom Hovland has passed. We render him a final salute!
Tom was a classic warrior. A nature leader; a patriot; a teacher; he missed no opportunity to motivate and share wise counsel. Our volunteers remember how he inspired us all during his recent hospice Honor Ceremony.
About a close friend and brother-in-arms who was to die in Vietnam, Tom had written this: "Recalling his courage has sustained me at many critical times in my life... I don’t believe he realized the magnitude of the gift he gave me in overcoming fear, accepting grief, knowing the importance of faith, sharing sorrow, living compassionately and finding joy in my life."
We think the same of you, Tom Hovland. We are grateful to Patriot Hospice for partnering with us to honor him one more time.
Last Patrol volunteers in Upstate, South Carolina, honored 4 very special World War II veterans. Each man was presented a custom-build frame containing their military Unit Medals.
Two of the veterans, Marines, Stan and Walter fought on Iwo Jima. Bob, a Navy Seabee (pictured in uniform) helped repair and build landing strips on Okinawa. And George, an Army Soldier, fought the Nazis in the Europe.
Such special men! We are so pleased to be able to befriend, honor, and support them.
Want to help? Contact us at www.veteranlastpatrol.org to learn how you can honor such veterans in your hometown.
We’re very pleased with our Operation Holiday Salute this year! This year --- the 3rd year we’ve done this --- our goal was raising 50,000 personalized Christmas and Holiday cards for veterans in hospice care. Wonderful cards were sent to us from all over the country. Young and old participated, and we are very grateful to all who helped.
This campaign allowed us to send packets of multiple cards to nearly 7,000 veterans on their Last Patrol around the country.
Here are few pictures of veterans receiving the JOY!
“While I was in Vietnam, I sent a letter home to my girlfriend asking her to marry me. Nancy sent me a letter back and said “yes.” – Frank Cates said.
That’s one of many stories Frank, an Army Military Police veteran on his Last Patrol, shared with our volunteers doing his Honor Ceremony. Frank received a beautiful Last Patrol quilt, presented by Carol Scales of MOAA - Star Fort Chapter, a letter from Congress, and a packet of cards of gratitude from citizens around the country. He’s now in hospice with @ProvidenceCares.
Frank also wrote Nancy a poem from Vietnam, one line of which reads:
“I asked the Heaven of Stars above, what should I give my love.”
He will be reuniting with Nancy in Post Everlasting. Frank has a son and daughter, and multiple grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We thank all those who helped us visit and honor Frank Cates.
“We are so proud of his service and so grateful to you,” a family member told us. James Grant – we, too – are so proud of and grateful for you.
James served his country as a Radio Technician in the United States Marine Corps during the early 1950s. James is now in hospice care on this Last Patrol. Hospice of the Piedmont contacted our team and requested an honor ceremony for him. Volunteers recently conducted the ceremony and thanked James a final time for his service to our great nation.
Along with a Patriot’s quilt and cards written by Americans around the country, James was presented a Congressional Letter from Congressman Jeff Duncan
“Thank you for your service.”
Our volunteers were privileged to honor Air Force veteran, Larry Fowler, who is in hospice care with Pruitt Health and lives at Ashlan Village. Larry’s special work in the 1950s as a mechanic for the Air Force assigned him to some of the coldest places on the earth, including a Greenland radar installation.
After military service, Larry returned to work with his dad and brother somewhere much warmer: a Carolina peach farm where he had grown up. In the off-season, he worked as a car mechanic.
Today, Larry is most proud of his 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren.
“So grateful that you honored him.”
Last Patrol volunteers conducted an honor ceremony for Clyde Rainwater, an Army veteran of all major 2nd half of the 20th century conflicts. Clyde is in hospice care with @BonSecoursHealthSystem · Hospital
Clyde served during the occupation of Japan, and in the Korean and Vietnam War. He served as a combat medic. He took part in the great Inchon Korea landings to push back the North Korean Communist invaders.
We joined Clyde’s large family in honoring him. How proud of their father they are! Near the end of our ceremony, when attending veterans individually salute the veteran in hospice, three of Clyde’s sons all came forward and saluted their father. One of Clyde’s uniforms with his military decorations was on display.
After military service, Clyde cut hair in Greenville County for 3 decades. Taking care of people was a motivation all his life.
In addition to other patriotic gifts or recognition, Clyde received a Congressional letter from @Rep. William Timmons
“What a brotherhood veterans have.”
Last Patrol volunteers joined family and Vets Helping Vets. Anderson to honor Billy Konrad, a Marine Vietnam veteran in home hospice care.
Billy believed in lifelong service. He was one of the founding members of the Anderson chapter of Vets Helping Vets. “A go-to guy to get things done,” was how one friend described him. His loving wife, Bonnie, stood by Billy during our ceremony as one veteran after another entered the house and visited him bedside. Billy received a Last Patrol Patriot’s Quilt, Certificate of Appreciation, cards of gratitude from Americans around the country, and other special gifts.
Sadly, the day following our honor ceremony Billy transitioned to Post Everlasting and is now reunited in a better place with family and old buddies. We salute you, brother.
“You help me remember those big events from a long time ago.”
That’s how Roy Johnson described the Last Patrol honor ceremony conducted for him this past week. Roy served in the Army as part of the post-WWII Japan Occupation Forces and is now in hospice care with @Providence Cares. He was responsible for keeping the electricity going for US Forces communication. “If that equipment would have failed, GEN MacArthur would have murdered me,” Roy joked.
Sadly, Roy’s wife of many years, Mary Johnson, passed away 2 months ago. Unfailingly loyal, he visits her gravesite weekly.
After his military service, Roy became a Winn-Dixie supervisor for 40+ years, and also became a Mason for 50+ years. He’s a huge @clemsonuniv fan.
Stay strong on your Last Patrol, Roy
“She was a very special lady.”
Volunteers, friends, and family honored Katherine, an Army Gulf War Nurse, in hospice care in Wilmington, NC.
Katherine fought the good fight until the end. The honor ceremony took place just one day prior to her passing. In her final days, a young Army Officer visited in uniform and expressed his love and gratitude. The family placed our Patriot’s Quilt on Katherine. Then --- after she had moved on to Post Everlasting – the family placed several special gifts and the many cards friends of Last Patrol wrote to Katherine on top of her quilt-covered bed for this final picture.
Volunteers came out to honor Roy Dantzler, an Army veteran from Union, South Carolina. Roy is in hospice care with @AgapeCares and therefore is now on his Last Patrol. Roy served the Army as a Supply Sergeant. After military service he became an Automotive mechanic.
Roy’s daughter and son -- who currently serves in the National Guard – along with Roy’s longtime caregiver were present for the ceremony. The loyalty and bond between veterans was very evident to all.
Roy received special presentations celebrating his service to the country. Honors were read to him. A Patriot’s Quilt was presented and wrapped around his shoulders. The ceremony concluded with taps, the benediction, and a final salute. Your country thanks you, Roy!
Last Patrol volunteers conducted an emergency honor ceremony for World War II veteran, Williams Adams. Mr. Adams entered the Army in 1944 and served in Europe during the fight against Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star.
Mr Adams is in hospice under the care of @HospicePiedmont
The solemn dignity of this honor ceremony helped Mr. Adams transition peacefully and reminded his family and those attending of the commitment veterans have to their brothers on a Last Patrol.
A paratrooper on his last days remembers jump commands!
Last Patrol volunteers gathered to honor Bobby Prater, a veteran fighting terminal cancer. A veteran friend called us asking to accelerate and honor ceremony for Bobby, a Vietnam veteran and paratrooper with over 150 jumps. More than 30 veterans and guests came to Bobby’s home to help us celebrate his service to America. Bobby recently served as co-director of the American Legion Military Museum.
Our ceremony honored him with music, patriotic gifts, and a Congressional Letter.
One of our volunteers, during our flag presentation, shouted the storied jump commands paratroopers hear as they ready to jump from aircraft with their parachutes. Bobby’s closed his eyes and quietly voiced the words in unison.
At the ceremony’s end, Bobby joined his fellow veterans in a final salute.
“He’s a very respected man.”
That was the opinion of the large crowd attending John Wilkens Jr Veteran’s Last Patrol honor ceremony. John, a WWII Navy veteran, is in hospice was with Halcyon Hospice.
The appreciation shown John by attending veterans, family, and friends was a beautiful thing to see. There was standing room only. Hugs, salutes, and words of gratitude filled the room has John received his honors, gifts, and a special US flag provided by Congressman William Timmons that had been flown over the United States Capitol.
“Let’s care for them until the end.”
Last Patrol volunteer and retired Fighter Pilot, Tom Lytle, visits veterans in hospice in Moncks Corner, SC. Tom flew jets for the Air Force, the Navy, and the National Guard, a very rare achievement.
In these pictures, he visits two veterans on their last patrol. One veteran also served in multiple branches of service, and the other is a veteran of the National Guard. It was quite a moving moment when after saluting him,
Tom attached a veteran pin to the dying veteran’s shirt. It’s so rewarding bring a final word of gratitude to a veteran in end-of-life care.
One photo is of Tom a few years back showing off a picture of one of his favorite plans, the A10 Warthog. What a patriot!!
“We so appreciate this honor,” is how a family member recalled our ceremony for his father.
Veterans Dan Grubbs and Darius James joined family members of James Hill, an Air Force veteran in hospice care with @HospicePiedmont in Greenwood, SC
Mr. Hill was presented a Certificate of Appreciation, a packet of cards of gratitude written by Americans around the country, and a Patriot’s Quilt.
A few days after this honor ceremony, James Hill transitioned to Post Everlasting. At his funeral, James lay in his casket with his Patriot’s Quilt under his hands.
“We salute you!”
James Lawrence, U.S. Air Force veteran from 1962-1966, is in end-of-life care at @HospicePiedmont. Family, friends, facility staff, and Last Patrol veteran volunteers gathered to honor James. He received special gifts, certificates, and honors, while being entertained with beautiful vocals and a trumpeter. He also received a packet of personal cards thanking him, The amazing cards are written by Americans around the country.
Throughout the event, James was actively involved, and deeply appreciated his fellow citizens turning out one more time to honor his service to our country.
James, we all wish you peace and strength on your Last Patrol and are standing by to help you.
“A final wish to go fishing…”
Last Patrol volunteers and friends made it happen. Robert, a Navy vet in hospice with @AgapeCare, is a passionate trout fisherman. Knowing the end is near, he’d asked: “Can I get out on a river one more time to fish?” So our volunteers put a plan in place to make his wish possible. There’s something about the river, the fish, the air, the water… Robert had been drawn to it most of his long life. Twice we tried… but Robert’s health faltered; the trip got cancelled. But patience paid off, and this past week it all came together.
During the fishing trip, Robert’s eyes regularly sought out his wife, Sandy. The two have been married for 53 years!
We salute you, Robert!
Many thanks to everyone that helped make this fishing trip possible! Special thanks to @DavidsonRiverOutfitters
“Three WWII veterans together is a very rare thing!”
It was our distinct honor recently to join @TheClintonPresbyterianCommunity · Retirement & Assisted Living Facility in celebrating the service of 3 World War II veterans. Representing the Army, Marines, and Navy, these 3 WWII veterans -- Carl, George, and Bill -- received special recognition from Last Patrol in a gathering held in the facility chapel. And what service!! The Soldier helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. The Marine participated in seizing an airfield during the fight for Okinawa. The Sailor searched for Japanese submarines. Last Patrol volunteers conducted a formal ceremony, patriotic entertainment, and voiced the gratitude of nation for these members of The Greatest Generation. The veterans received letters from @RepJeffDuncan, who recognized the important contribution of each man.
Carl, the Soldier, was a tanker in the 20th Armored Division. He fought in Germany and France. Later in life he started an Insurance business and was an avid snow skier until the age of 73. George, the Marine, participated in several Pacific fighting campaigns, and was preparing for the invasion of Japan with the Japanese surrendered. George is very proud of his 67 year marriage. Bill served in Naval Air, including an assignment in the Philippines during the war. Back in the civilian world he became a pharmacist.
We thank each of these very special veterans for their service. We owe our freedom to men like these and their fellow brothers-in-arms who fought for our country during WWII.
A very special veteran celebration in Florida!
Last Patrol volunteers honored Navy veteran, Jacob Zemon, who is in hospice care with @SeasonsHospicePalliativeCare. Simultaneously we celebrated a remarkable 60th Wedding Anniversary. Jacob met his wife on a blind date all those many years ago. Their 2 children and other family and friends also attended the honor ceremony. All remembered Jacob as a hardworking, wonderful man, who was well-equipped with colorful military stories which he didn’t shy from telling. We salute you, Jacob!
Jacob served aboard a Navy Aircraft Carrier in the early 1960s. He became a master card player and fabulous dancer. During our honor ceremony favorite dance tunes were played. As a young man, Jacob was a quality athlete, and competed at high levels in Tennis and Basketball. Eventually settling in South Florida, he later served his local community as a Bailiff.
“Amazed by the fierce loyalty U.S. military veterans have….”
@brookdaleseniorliving veterans were honored by Veteran’s Last Patrol. The military service of their veteran residents was celebrated by veteran volunteers and @AmedisysInc in a ceremony that included Certificates of Appreciation and small patriotic handcrafts. Greenville South Carolina’s. @militaryhistorycc helped with this special event by displaying a restored military vehicle.
We thank Photographer @Ken Scar for taking great photographs. “I'm continually amazed by the fierce loyalty U.S. military veterans have for other veterans, and how naturally it reaches across generations, services and wars,” Ken remarked about the day’s event.
Robert Houk, Navy Vietnam Veteran, receives an honor ceremony by Veteran Last Patrol volunteers. We celebrated Robert’s life and service with family, friends, and fellow volunteers. Robert served on the battleship USS New Jersey. That big ship provided vital gunnery support for Soldiers and Marines in ground combat. He is now on his Last Patrol and in hospice care with Agape Care Group.
After the service, Robert became a small businessman, serving his Western North Carolina community. He and his wife lived in the same house for 43 years. Robert is a passionate trout fisher. When he wasn’t working or spending time with family you would find him on a mountain river with a fishing rod in hand.
“He’s served our country, and for this organization Veteran Last Patrol to take the time to recognize him says a lot of good about where we are as a nation, in spite of anything else we might see,” James said.
Our volunteers, local veterans, and citizens of Greenwood, SC, gathered to honor Frank Glenn, a Navy WWII veteran in hospice care with @PruittHealth. Frank served as an Aviation Technician during the war and made sure the Navy’s planes could fly. We’re all so grateful he and his fellow WWII veterans defeated the Nazi and Japanese tyrannies. During the ceremony, Frank received a handmade flag, patriotic quilt, and a Congressional Letter from @RefJeffDuncan The ceremony took place @Brookdale Senior Living. We are so impressed with the great turnout to celebrate Frank’s service. Our purpose was to remind him he’s not alone on his Last Patrol. We love seeing veterans in hospice render a final salute!
Fred Whisnant served his country as a US Army Medic during the Korean War. He is very proud of his service. Last Patrol volunteers visited Fred’s home and conducted an Honor Ceremony, during which he was recognized with several presentations, including a Congressional Letter from @RepRalphNorman. Fred is in the care of @Halycon Hospice.
Our mission is bringing friendships, honor ceremonies, and emergency assistance to veterans in hospice care. We want these dying veterans to know they are not forgotten. Fred is being visited weekly by one of our veteran volunteers.