As a Level Four partner in the We Honor Veterans Program, Heartland Hospice serving North Central Illinois and Southern Wisconsin frequently perform pinning ceremonies for deserving veteran patients. Recently, Heartland Hospice held a pinning ceremony for patient Luther “Luke” Fingerson of Janesville, WI. Luke is an Army Veteran who served in Germany during the Korean Conflict.
His Heartland team, consisting of his nurse, Deb, social worker, Kelly, spiritual care coordinator, Rod, aide, Jessica, music therapist, Natasha and We Honor Veterans program director, Janine, all gathered at Luke’s home along with his son, daughter-in-law and step-granddaughter, Amy, to honor him and thank him for his service. Luke enjoyed telling stories of his time in the service, especially the time when he found a German helmet in a field and was able to mail it home. He happily passed the heavy helmet around for the team to hold and even try on. Luke said this was just one of the fun memories he has of his time in Germany, and said he spent a lot of time “drinking beer and having a great time.” He is thankful that his time in the military was spent in Germany.
As part of the pinning ceremony, the Heartland team presented Luke with a “Heartland Salutes Veterans” pin, certificate, flag and Army fleece blanket, all of which he was happy to receive. Natasha sang the Army song, God Bless America and The Old Rugged Cross, which Luke and his son especially appreciated. Rod Wedel gave Luke a serviceman booklet of the Gospel of St. John. The entire team was happy to be a part of this moving ceremony. Deb Strait, Luke’s nurse, said, “I’m glad we all came together to do this. It was my favorite pinning ceremony to date.”
Luke continues to talk about his pinning ceremony at every visit!