Hospice of Health First’s Five Star-Rated Veterans Recognition and Aid Program to Host Meeting Nov. 1

By  //  October 27, 2023

Calling All Veterans! A Final Salute

Hospice of Health First Volunteer Coordinator Susan Miller, left, with staff Christine Otero and Aprille Waldrop at a patriotic-themed information table. Each month, Hospice typically schedules about 12 to 15 Forever Hero ceremonies up and down the Space Coast, from Mims to Sebastian. (Health First image)

WHAT: Forever a Hero, Hospice of Health First’s Five Star-rated veterans’ recognition and aid program, is hosting an informational meeting for anyone interested in honoring veterans in their final days. 

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Hospice of Health First, 1131 West New Haven Ave., Ste 102, West Melbourne, FL 32904  

CONTACT: Hospice of Health First, 321-434-1790, or Susan Miller, Volunteer Coordinator for Hospice of Health First and a U.S. Air Force veteran, susan.miller@hf.org 

Informational meeting Nov. 1 is an orientation to Hospice of Health First’s five-star Forever a Hero program. Register for The Final Salute here

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Americans stand ready to honor veterans, none more so than fellow veterans who know both the valor and the sacrifice of serving. As a Level Five partner in the national We Honor Veterans program, Hospice of Health First is committed to giving our veteran patients their final salute as we care for them near the end of their life

Now, as we approach the federal Veteran’s Day holiday, Hospice of Health First is inviting veterans – and anyone interested in learning more – to an informational meeting on Nov. 1 at its center.

Recently, Forever a Hero has partnered with active-duty servicemen at Patrick Space Force Base and members of the American Legion Post 117 in Palm Bay to attend Honor Ceremonies.

“Our veteran volunteers add a very special context to the occasion,” said Susan Miller, Volunteer Coordinator at Hospice of Health First, and a U.S. Air Force veteran herself. “When the patient can meet and talk to someone who has this same background of military service, their eyes light up. Being in the service sticks with you for a lifetime.”

Miller says that Brevard County residents should know that, if it seems like residents in this area are more eager to honor service members – active, retired and no longer with us – it’s not a coincidence. 

“It’s my experience at Patrick [Space Force Base] that officers and senior staff made Patrick their last duty station because they wanted to retire in Brevard County. Why? I think it’s this community. Even if you’re not in the military, you have a connection to our nation’s armed forces that’s very strong.”

Forever a Hero currently performs about 10-15 Honor Ceremonies a month. The program is not looking to expand the number of ceremonies – any Hospice of Health First who is a veteran may receive an Honor Ceremony – but the number of veteran volunteers to staff them.

For 12 years, it has honored our nation’s veterans with ceremonies and recognitions as part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program. Five years ago it created its Forever a Hero program, now a Five Star-rated veterans’ recognition and aid program, according to the organization.

Miller has led veterans’ recognition services for more than a decade. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, she served from 1997 to 2001, and again from 2005 to 2011, finishing with the 45th Security Forces Squadron out of Patrick Space Force Base.

Register for The Final Salute hereTo consider making a gift to the Health First Foundation to sustain Forever a Hero, visit HF.org/foreverahero. Visit HF.org/news to keep up with the latest at Health First.

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