John Strawser, Veteran and Volunteer for EverHeart Hospice, recently traveled to Washington D.C. This trip was hosted by Darke County Veteran Services.
Strawser has been a volunteer at EverHeart hospice since 2016. He honors hospice patients who served in the military by
providing them with a special pinning recognition ceremony and salute. Patients also receive a certificate to commemorate their service. It means a lot to patients to be recognized by a fellow Veteran.
Darke County Veteran’s Services hosts a trip to Washington D.C. every fall and it is open to any Veteran. It’s a destination that Strawser encourages everyone to experience.
“We can’t forget about our history and education to younger generations. Otherwise, history will repeat itself,” he shared.
Strawser served in the military from 1968-1971 as Communications Technician in the Navy. During his service, he was stationed in Adak, Alaska for a year and Bremerhaven, Germany for the rest of his service.
Some of the stops on the Washington D.C. trip included the Arlington Cemetery, the Vietnam Wall, The Lincoln Memorial, Flight 93 experience, The Marine Museum, and the Washington Monument. At the Vietnam wall, a child and his mother made rubbings of the names on the wall for the Veterans to take home as a souvenir. This really hit home for Strawser as the Vietnam War took place during the time of his service. He also had the opportunity to listen to three phone calls from passengers on the plane for Flight 93 and walk the path where the plane went down.
“Just walking through some of this stuff the emotions truly bubble up,” explained Strawser. “You’re fine one minute and not the next. We would encourage everyone to go [to Washington D.C.]– but make sure you take your tissues along.”
EverHeart Hospice, formerly State of the Heart Care, has been a local, community-based non-profit since 1981. To learn more about volunteering at EverHeart, visit their website at everhearthospice.org or call 800-417-7535 option 5.