Honoring America's Allies
One way the hospice affiliates participate is by honoring veterans with a pinning ceremony.
Chapters Health Hospice, Good Shepherd Hospice, Hospice of Okeechobee, HPH Hospice and LifePath Hospice are each part of our veterans program. One way the hospice affiliates participate is by honoring veterans with a pinning ceremony. Each veteran is presented with a certificate to commemorate their sacrifice, along with a piece of an American flag that can be pinned to their shirt. Though this service is offered primarily to American veterans, any solider who served as an ally of the United States is eligible to be honored.
While the numbers are usually low, usually less than 10 foreign veterans are honored by each affiliate every year, it is important to pay tribute to all men and women who fought for and with the United States.
Stuart Peckham served in the Canadian Army alongside American soldiers
Stuart Peckham, known as “Mr. P” to friends and family, is a patient with HPH Hospice. When he was 21 he served as a translator in the Highland Light Infantry 9th Brigade of the Canadian Army during World War II. He speaks three languages and landed at D-Day.
“I left as a boy and came back as a man,” Mr. P said. “I had three brothers. We all served. We all came back.”
Born in 1924, as the son of Polish Jews, he lost 21 family members in the Holocaust. He was later adopted and raised Christian, but the war took him to some of the concentration camps where some of his relatives went and never returned.
Mr. P doesn’t like to talk about the war. He’d rather tell you about his careers in real estate, construction and as an auctioneer.
With a resume that impressive, it may not be surprising he’s also a writer.
He’s written 16 books, six even published, including one about the art of negotiation. If you were to spend 15 minutes speaking with him, you’d wish you had read one of those books because you may get hit with a pop-quiz.
Honoring All of America’s Allies
Though the war brings back bad memories, Mr. P is still able to share some details.
He was wounded in action twice, earning the Sacrifice Medal, which is Canada’s equivalent of the Purple Heart in America.
Since moving to America in 1955 the honors for his service has diminished a bit. He made it clear it was a sore subject when asked if being a Canadian veteran draws the same praise in America.
“Sometimes I’ve never felt so foreign,” he said.
Back in November, Mr. P was give the same honors any American veteran would receive as a patient of HPH Hospice.
Chaplain Scott Carley came to his home and prayed with him, thanked him for his sacrifice, and gave him pin and certificate to commemorate his service. The gesture moved Mr. P to tears.
“All I ever wanted was to feel recognized,” he said.
In total, 18 countries fought alongside America in World War II. Though most of the veterans Chapters Health System treats come from England and Canada, Mr. P and anyone else who fought alongside American soldiers can count on receiving the same treatment.
Chapters Health System is committed to serving the needs of its patients, families, caregivers, health providers, partners and communities.
Discover more details and information about the Chapters Health Valor Program.
For more information, please call our helpful Chapters Health team at 1.866.204.8611 or Contact Us.