“You are not alone, Earl.”
We often mention how sad it is when veterans pass away without family or friends. Our volunteers seek out veterans in hospice care to make sure they are not forgotten. We find these veterans, befriend them, and honor them one final time while on their Last Patrol.
Earl is one such veteran. Earl’s an Army Vietnam veteran and we found him alone in a small care facility. He has no known family. He was drafted into the Infantry in 1965 and served later in Transportation, with additional duty assignments in Korea & Alaska. Health and memory fading fast, Earl really cheered up when our team arrived.
Our honor ceremony, which included several gifts, such as a beautiful Patriot’s quilt, showed Earl that this nation has not forgotten his service. We are with you until the end.
We recently honored a very special veteran in hospice care outside of Washington, DC.
Albert Willis served his country in a most distinguished way. He is a veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He is also a Montford Point Marine, the first Black Americans to be allowed in the Marines. Albert retired as a Sergeant Major after 23 years of serve. He grew up in Philadelphia. Post-military service, he earned an MBA from @Florida University. He would go on to work for the City of Philadelphia and numerous positions. He is a past commander of the 1st District of the @American Legion Department of Pennsylvania and served as the Grand Marshall of Philadelphia’s 2018 Veterans Day Parade. Today, Albert is on his Last Patrol and is cared for by his daughter.
Among other recognitions, we presented Albert with a custom Medals Case.
Our honor ceremony showed Albert that we all owe him a debt of everlasting gratitude.
“I loved being a jeep driver!”
Last Patrol honored “DE”, a post-WWII Navy veteran in hospice care. DE was born in 1928 in North Carolina and enlisted in the Navy in 1948 and trained as a radio operator. He specialized in the morse code and could type 60 words a minute. A few years later he got a Navy job as a commander’s jeep driver and he enjoyed that job immensely.
After military service, DE became a “jack of all trades” and eventually opened his own appliance repair shop. He and his wife, Helen, were married 68 years. They have one daughter and one grandson.
The highlight of our honor ceremony was fulfilling DE’s “last wish” of riding one more time in a restored original jeep! We thank our supporters for making this last wish possible.
“Freedom isn’t free.”
Last Patrol volunteers in Columbia, SC, honored Robert Moak, a WWII Navy veteran in hospice. Born in 1927, Robert joined the Navy in 1945 and served during the last days of the war. After the war, he spent 7 additional years in the Navy Reserve.
Post-military life, Robert became a construction superintendent, loved woodworking, and was an avid fisherman. He is being cared for by @MSA Hospice.
“It was an honor to celebrate not only his service, but his legacy of hard work, dedication and love.” Robert’s 3 daughters attended our honor ceremony honoring their father.
Robert was presented with several patriotic honors, including a Veteran’s Last Patrol quilt & certificate. He also received a Congressional Letter from @Senator Tim Scott.
“One of the greatest generation!”
Calvin, an Army WWII veteran, is in hospice care in South Carolina. Born in 1923, he was the youngest of nine children. Last Patrol volunteers rallied recently to honor him.
During the war, Calvin served with the 62nd General Hospital in France as a cook. He met and married his wife, Alma Lillian Clarke, in Wales, United Kingdom, before return to the USA. They were married for 73 years until her death in 2019.
Calvin worked in the insurance business most of his career, owning his own agency at one time.
He has 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. Over the years, the family enjoy trips to Tybee Island, Georgia, seeing friends and family visiting from the UK, and he “all the adventures they had through the years.”
A recent highlight: Calvin is an avid Atlanta Braves fan and celebrated his 98th birthday at the ballpark watching the Braves win!
“I would do it again,” he said firmly.
Last Patrol volunteers joined family and friends to honor Carroll, a Marine Corps veteran in home hospice care with @Gentiva Hospice. Weak yet inspired by strong patriotism, Carroll, and his family, were clearly moved by our presentation.
Born in 1947, Carroll joined the Marine Corps Reserve in June 1966. As a rifleman, he prepared for war, preforming field duty and maneuvers. He became an armorer, which meant he repaired and issued weapons. After his military service, he and his dad started a cabinet business. He went on to hold various occupations, from construction to truck driving. He had 2 daughters with his late wife June. He remarried and he and his new wife Diana blended two more children into their family. Now they have 9 grandchildren.
Our honor ceremony showed Carroll and his family that we respect and honor his military service and that our country owes him everlasting gratitude.
“We’re bringing fellowship to those that need it.”
Last Patrol volunteers visited veteran residents of the @Mountainview Nursing Home of Spartanburg, SC.
This is the brotherhood of veterans in action. Good fellowship was had by all. Learn more here.
Each veteran resident was honored with a Last Patrol certificate, cards of gratitude, and patriotic gifts. Music was performed during the ceremony to bring joy.
After the group ceremony, volunteers visited disabled veterans unable to leave their beds. No one was forgotten. By the time our team left, every veteran knew they were appreciated and respected. We love you all.
“We came to honor your service.”
Last Patrol volunteers joined @American Legion Post Mauldin and the @Greenville County Sheriffs office honoring Joe Whitmire, a USMC veteran and former Sheriff’s deputy. Joe is in home hospice care with @Wren Hospice.
Our Last Patrol Honor Ceremony was conducted in gratitude for his service. We presented Joe multiple patriotic gifts and special recognitions, items that will be cherished by his surviving family.
Joe graduated from J.L. Mann High School in 1967, and Clemson University in 1978. Joe served tours in Vietnam, Japan, and NC. In 2002, Joe retired from the National Security Agency, and in 2019, he retired from the Greenville County Sheriff's Office following his cancer diagnosis.
Sadly, the day after our honor ceremony, Joe passed way. We feel sure he was at peace after the love and respect shown by his family and all in attendance.
“I’m a proud Vietnam Veteran.”
Our team in Upstate South Carolina honored Frazier Wyatt, an Army veteran in hospice care with @Spartanburg Regional Hospice.
Frazier did basic training at Fort Jackson and trained to be a combat engineer at Fort Leonard Wood. He is a Vietnam veteran and earned a bronze star for valor in 1968.
Frazier married Geraldine in 1971. They have 3 children and one grandson. Frazier worked as a Maintenance Supervisor at Pet Dairy for 20 years. Then went on to work for International Paper. He retired in 2009.
Our honor ceremony included a presentation of several gifts and certificates of recognition in front of his family and friends. We honor your service, Sir.
“A passion to serve.”
Glen Dodd joined the Navy in 1957. Trained to be a radar technician, he served on the Franklin D. Roosevelt aircraft carrier, with duty cruises in the Mediterranean and Caribbean oceans. After military service, with an ambition for enterprise, Glen started a business in Texas. Later the business moved to South Carolina.
Amazingly, when only in the 4th grade, Glen met the girl who would later become his wife. They married before he joined the Navy and have been together for 60 years.
Last Patrol volunteers recently visited with Glen, who is today in hospice care with @Pruitt Health Hospice. We conducted an honor ceremony for him and his family, honoring his military service and demonstrating that we owe him everlasting gratitude. Glen received several patriotic gifts and certificates, including a Congressional Letter from @Rep. William Timmons.
“We fought for the man next to us.”
Last Patrol volunteers honored WWII Army Veteran Harold Koeplin. Harold was wounded in the Battle of Bulge. Today, while on his Last Patrol, he lives at the @Clemson Downs Retirement and Assisted Living Facility.
Harold was drafted into the Army in August of 1944. He served as an Army Rifleman and went to fight in Germany. He was wounded by a mortar shell during the Battle of Bulge and evacuated. In the hospital, Harold was shocked to find the actor Mickey Rooney in the bed next to him. “So when he got back rubs, so did I,” Harold explained with a smile.
After the war Harold graduated from Michigan State University and still follows the school’s sports teams. He was commissioned as an Army officer when he graduated. He went into the hospitality business and served 35 years as department head of Food Services in the General Motors Institute. Harold served again in the Army stateside during Korean War. Detroit Tigers baseball is a passion for him. He and his wife Lucille have four children and eight grandchildren.
“Our whole family is grateful.”
Last Patrol volunteers, family, and friends celebrated the life and service of Winston, an Army veteran in home hospice care with @Heart of Hospice of the Upstate.
Winston was stationed in Germany in the 1960s. His military specialty was floating bridge construction. He joined the Army Reserves after active duty and worked his whole life in construction. He has three children and grandchildren.
America respects and honors his military service, and we owe him everlasting gratitude.
Sadly, within a few days of our ceremony, Winston passed away. His family’s love as we honored him was a beautiful thing to see.
“Jimmy, you make us proud.”
Last Patrol volunteers rallied in Anderson, SC, to honor Jimmy Utley, an Army veteran in hospice care.
Jimmy was stationed in Germany during the Cold War.
After service, Jimmy used his military experience to get a job in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He worked at many airports around the country, taking his family with him.
Our honor ceremony showed Jimmy and his family that we respect and honor his military service and that our country owes him everlasting gratitude. He received several patriotic gifts and recognition, including a Congressional Letter from @Congressionman Jeff Duncan.
Our ceremony was done in cooperation with @MSA Health and Hospice
“We salute your service, Marine!”
Rudy is a Marine Corp veteran in hospice care in Columbia, SC. Family, friends, and Last Patrol volunteers gathered to honor him in his home. @MSA hospice, who is caring for him, joined us.
Rudy was born in Philadelphia in 1939. He enlisted in 1956 at the age of 18 to serve his country. Following military service, he went to work in the Philadelphia Havel Shipyard while attending college. After graduation, he became a computer engineer for Fisher & Porter. Employed there he went on to install computer systems in ships and aircraft around the world.
Rudy is married and has 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.
It was our privilege to honor Rudy with gifts and commendations as he proceeds on his Last Patrol.
“He had a calling to serve.”
Ken is an Air Force veteran on his last patrol. We honored him on the edge of life’s midnight. A dozen Last Patrol volunteers attended our ceremony, conducted in cooperation with @Pruitt Hospice.
During his military service, Ken worked as an Aircraft mechanic, making Staff Sergeant before leaving the service. Afterwards, he worked as a civilian mechanic and entered the ministry. He married his sweetheart, Carlene, and they had 3 sons. She proceeded him to Post Everlasting. Kenneth retired from Greenville County, SC, after working many years with people with special needs.
Volunteers advanced one-by-one and saluted Ken. Service magnifies. Respect endures.
“We are privileged to honor you, Sir.”
Last Patrol volunteers in Washington State honored Donnie Davis, a WWII veteran. Donnie grew up in Vermont. At 18, in 1944, we joined the Army Air Corp and was trained as a ball gunner on B-17 bombers.
He would go on the fly on 25 bombing missions with the 388th Bomb Group against Nazi Germany.
The B-17s flew during daylight for more precise targeting. The bombers would throw out clouds of aluminum foil strips to confuse the radar. They would fly at 20-25,000 feet to make it harder on the enemy fighters. The cabins were not pressurized so the crew members had to wear oxygen masks. The temperature was usually 20-50 degrees below zero. Their flight suits were like electric blankets to try to prevent frostbite.
The B-17s crews were the second highest casualties – 5 out of 10 men who flew on a B-17 in WWII were dead at the end of the war. (Only German Submariners were higher.)
Donnie still takes pride in his military service and was grateful for our honor ceremony, during which he received several items of special recognition and a shadow box with his earned medals.