EATON — Maple Gardens Rehabilitation & Nursing Center hosted a veteran recognition event on Monday, Nov. 6. Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care co-sponsored the event, which included the Preble County Color Guard.
Local veterans were treated to a special ceremony that included the presentation of individual certificates, lapel pins, flag, and salute. The ceremony also included the playing of the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, a patriotic poem, and a benediction.
The Preble County Color Guard was on-hand to present colors in a recognition of service to their country.
According to Wende Kluener, Activities Director with Maple Gardens, the center has 16 veterans in its care — ranging all branches – and they wanted to honor them for Veterans Day.
“We honored them this afternoon with the huge help of Crossroads Hospice,” she said. “This is the second year we’ve held this program. I feel that we need to honor these folks who have preserved our freedoms, fought for our country, and taken care of us. They have sacrificed a lot for us and I wanted to honor them and do something special for them today.”
The program recognized each veteran individually, creating a personalization that Kluener thought made their celebration unique.
Every veteran at the celebration — even those not under the care of Maple Gardens — had their name and branch called, had an American flag pinned on their lapel, and then were saluted.
First, those under the care of Maple Gardens were recognized, but then any other veteran was asked to step up and be recognized. Spouses and family of veterans received flowers in recognition of their unique sacrifice.
“Applauding each and every one of them individually was important to us,” Kluener added. “People need to thank our veterans. If you notice they have a hat on in public, stop and thank them for their service. They appreciate us noticing them.
“It is important to honor our veterans because of their sacrifice. They gave up their lives to serve — wherever they were and whatever they did was to protect us and our families.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH