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Pete’s Perspective: Memorial Day Tribute and Recognition of Veterans

Pete’s Perspective:  Memorial Day Tribute and Recognition of Veterans

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

In celebrating Memorial Day, we do so with honor and pride for the contributions of the men and women who have died in service to our nation while upholding the freedoms many of us take for granted.

When our hospital opened in 1953, a plaque was unveiled memorializing the facility as “Dedicated to the health of the community in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces who made the supreme sacrifice for their community and their nation.” Opening a new chapter this year in our seven decades of service to the people of Monterey County, we have adopted a new name, a new look and expanded our commitment to the people we serve. While our modernized brand is shorter, our recognition of Veterans remains fundamental, and, indeed, it is growing.

Monterey County’s longstanding military presence is woven into the fabric of everyday life here on the Central Coast. World-class military installations provide training and education for every branch of the Armed Services and many of the soldiers who passed through Fort Ord now call this area home. We are fortunate to live and work alongside these men and women who put service above self.

With the belief that community well-being is the foundation of individual well-being, we not only celebrate the memory of those who died while serving our nation, we also pay real-time tribute to Veterans who come to us for medical care and to those who work at our healthcare system.

  • Our doctors, nurses, clinical and non-clinical staff receive special insignia on their name badges that denotes their Veteran status. In addition to honoring their service, this visual acknowledgment helps establish immediate connections between staff and patients, making for a better overall patient experience.
  • During registration, we have begun asking patients if they have served in the military and, if so, thanking them and entering that information into their record so that all their caregivers will be aware.
  • Flag magnets on whiteboards highlight Veteran status in patient rooms sparking additional opportunities for positive dialogue.
  • We have a strong team of volunteers and those with knitting and sewing skills are being engaged to create red, white, and blue lap blankets to provide to each Veteran patient as a memento of appreciation.
  • We are developing a special ceremony for the families of any Veteran who passes away at our medical center. This tribute will include final salute, folding and handover of an American Flag and lowering our flags to half-staff for a day.

You will continue to see flags lining the perimeter our medical center on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day, however that is just one way that we honor Veterans. Increasing meaningful appreciation of their service is something we are most proud to do for this exceptional group of individuals and in support of our overall community.

As we observe Memorial Day, let us remember to pay tribute to those who fought and died for our nation. The significance of this day of commemoration is one we should all pause to reflect on with deep gratitude for the many freedoms that we enjoy as Americans.

Be safe and be well.

– Pete

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