BELLEVILLE - When we think of the holidays in November, chances are that Thanksgiving is the first holiday that comes to mind. However, the first holiday in November we celebrate in America is Veteran’s Day on November 11th. This is a day to give thanks to the men and women who have served in the United States military. Take a moment this Veterans Day to reflect on the sacrifices our military members have made and thank a veteran in your family, work place, or community.

Hospice of Southern Illinois would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our veteran employees, volunteers, families, patients and our local community for all you have done and continue to do for our country. We are a proud, Level III, partner of the We Honor Veterans program and have embraced the mission to serve America’s veterans. Our employees understand the unique needs of veterans and are prepared to meet the specific challenges that veterans and their families may face at the end of life. We consider it an honor and privilege to care for them. It’s our way of thanking them for the sacrifices they have made in serving us. For more information about Hospice of Southern Illinois, visit our website, www.hospice.org, or contact Lisa Phillipson, 618-235-1703 or lphillipson@hospice.org.

The following Hospice of Southern Illinois’ employees voluntarily submitted their personal and family veteran’s stories and names for recognition this Veterans Day:

Kim JohnsonCommunity Education Coordinator, Kim Johnson, served in the US military for six years. On July 14, 1986, Kim graduated Lance Corporal/LCPL from Marine Corps Boot Camp Parris Island, South Carolina. “This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life…it challenged me physically, mentally, and emotionally,” Kim said. “Never would I believe that I would be celebrating my 30 year anniversary from Marine Corps Bootcamp! I had the honor of serving as Guide of our platoon for 11 out of 13 weeks and received the title “Honor Grad.” “Honor Grad” came with an additional step up in rank which was pretty sweet. Normally, when you graduate, your rank is Private/PVT but receiving the “Honor Grad,” title, I was bumped up to Lance Corporal/LCPL. I served from 1986 to 1992. My training in Communications took place at Marine Corps Base 29 Palms California. I later was permanently stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California and finished my tour at Camp Courtney Okinawa, Japan. I am a very proud Marine and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t wear lipstick and be in the Marine Corps.”

Mary Miles, Human Resources Administrative Assistant, has eight immediate family members who have served or who are currently serving in the United States military. Mary said “Happily I can report that even though several were in danger many times, one was missing in action for twelve days, but they all came home safely.”

Mary Miles' father.Mary’s veteran family members are listed as follows:

Gilbert Douglas, Father Served in Korean Conflict in Korea, Army;

Timothy Douglas, Brother – Served 13 years including Desert Storm in IRAQ,  Army;

Kenneth Douglas, Brother – Served 8 years including Desert Storm Stateside and Germany, Army;

Jonathon Douglas, Nephew - Served 8 years including during Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan, Air Force;

Matthew Douglas, Nephew - Served 6 years during Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan, Air Force;

Steven Douglas, Nephew-Served 10 years including 3 tours in Korea, Army;

Kevin Douglas, Nephew – Served 8 years, Army; and

Madison Douglas, Niece-in –Law - Serving in 8th year and still in Active Army.

 

Stephen Douglas, Mary Miller's nephew.

Martin JungMartin Jung, P.E., PMP, brother of Hospice of Southern Illinois’ Human Resources Generalist Kelly Neighbors, is actively serving in the US Army Corps of Engineers as a Lieutenant Colonel. He has served in the US military for over 17 years. “I am extremely proud to be his little sister” – Kelly said. “Not only has he made sacrifices for our country, but his whole family has been part of that sacrifice as well. I appreciate everything he has done for our country. Our freedom comes from people like my brother who make it their life’s work to preserve it. For this I am truly grateful.”

Hospice of Southern Illinois’ veteran volunteers for our Marion, IL location include: Ernie Brasher, Bill Browning, Kaylee Dickson, Fred Edwards, Kirk Gimmy, Bill Hamer, Kina Heather, Patricia McCann, Stephen Soboroff, James Whittington and Charles Young.

Hospice of Southern Illinois’ veteran volunteers for our Belleville, IL location include: John Garrett, Tom Dixon, Gary Koval, Sally Koval (Volunteer Services Coordinator for Hospice of Southern Illinois), Kim Johnson (Community Education Coordinator for Hospice of Southern Illinois), Diane Holeman, Jerry Altepeter, Robert Casner, Bill Chapman, Chuck Fugate, Daniel Hollendoner, Susan Jano, Cathy Johnson, Daniel Morgan, Jamie Shirley-Tolar, Audrey Solomon, Tom Spitler, Cecil Stevenson, Joyce Walton and Lorraine White.

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