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Friday, April 22, 2016

We can never do enough for our veterans. And with so much criticism and poor service surrounding the VA, it looks like they finally did something right.

The “No Veteran Dies Alone” program matches veterans who are in hospice care with volunteers. The volunteers provide companionship for the veterans so they don’t have to die alone. This is helpful to families who can’t sit with their loved ones all the time. It also provides the veteran the opportunity to make one last friend.

The program is in about 1/3 of the VAs across the country. It was started in 2013 and has been very successful and comforting to the veterans and the volunteers.

Nick Konz is a volunteer and a veteran himself. He especially appreciates the veterans who came before his time in the service. “We’ll hold their hand, reassure them it’s OK to die and let them know that they’re not alone,” Konz told the Chicago Tribune. “Somebody cares and appreciates what they did for us.”

Konz says he gets to know the veterans while they are still lucid. This way he is more familiar to them as death approaches. The most important thing is just to listen.

Some veterans are all alone so the volunteers are their only visitors as their life comes to an end. Thank God for these people who take time to spend with these men and women who have sacrificed so much. They shouldn’t be without company.

Bravo to these volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering to be the companion one of these brave vets, check out your local VA website and find out if they offer this program near you. A veteran could really use a friend like you to lean on through this last chapter of their lives.

Please share this post so as many future volunteers as possible get to know about such an incredible program!

H/T: Boise VA Medical Center

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