Rolling Thunder and Hope
a success story
Hope Hospice cares for people who are terminally ill. A fair number of them are veterans. Hospice was looking for a way to pay tribute to these heroes. The original request for people to assist with this program went out to current Hospice volunteers with very little response.
Jean Best, an employee of Hope Hospice and a Rolling Thunder Chapter 10 Florida member had an idea. Since Rolling Thunder is all about honoring our veterans and POWs, why not form a partnership between Rolling Thunder and Hope Hospice? Jean presented her ideas to Rolling Thunder and received great interest from Chapter 10 Florida. Next, Jean presented her ideas to Hope Hospice and was granted permission to partnership with Rolling Thunder to pay tribute to the men and women who served our country. Things started falling into place nicely.
Now the work started. Paperwork was filled out (and lots of it!), training scheduled, Hospice speakers and trainers solicited, volunteers contacted, and much more.
Things started rolling now.
At the first training, eight Rolling Thunder
members, including Jean, stepped up to the plate to assist Hospice in honoring
Some highlights to date:
A presentation to an ex-POW on his 91st birthday. There were dozens of people present including many Rolling Thunder members, Florida State Director, family and friends.
Veteran honoree with Jean and Ron Best
A veteran with a distinguished flying cross who had been bedridden for months. After Rolling Thunder had saluted the veteran, Rolling Thunder was asked to wait. Struggling to his feet, the veteran returned the salute. Wasnít a dry eye in the house including the Chaplain.
In almost every presentation there are tears from both the veteran and the people watching. Oftentimes families ask other family members and friends to attend the presentation.
Because of the success of this program, this partnership is expanding to other locations in Florida. Next up is Central Florida where volunteers are being solicited from Chapter 6 and training is being scheduled.
During a recent presentation to an ex-POW, a visitor at the facility who witnessed the presentation to the Hospice ex-POW patient, informed us that he also was a POW. Again, the wheels started turning for Jean Best and she suggested that the volunteers also honor non-Hospice veterans as well. That part of the program will be kicking off soon.
Thank you Jean for all you do and allowing Rolling Thunder to participate in this program.