In the Fall of 2017, a chaplain with extensive experience working with veterans gave a presentation at Clarehouse. Following that presentation, Clarehouse began a veteran’s appreciation
program recognizing veterans for their service in the Armed Forces of the United States. A military history checklist is now included for all veterans as they are admitted as Clarehouse guests. This checklist evaluates the impact of their experience. Veterans are asked such questions as what war and branch they served in and whether their service included combat or other dangerous and/or traumatic assignments. According to the Veterans Administration, approximately one out of every four Americans who die each year is a veteran.
Veterans may face unique issues at the end of their lives as memories resurface. Memories of war and of the violence that was perpetrated on them or that they necessarily perpetrated on others during their service to our country can cause great distress. At the end of life, feelings of intense guilt and responsibility, fear, anger, anxiety and stress can rise to the surface causing veterans to wrestle with emotions they may have buried for decades.
As a veteran myself, I was asked if I would present certificates of appreciation for service to guests who are veterans and their families. The certificates state “We are grateful for your service to country by courageously protecting our freedom, liberty and independence.”
I feel deeply honored to be allowed to make these presentations in recognition of their service and have had fascinating conversations with the veterans and their families. I believe this is another aspect of the Clarehouse commitment to provide caring compassion to all of our guests and their families.
Kim Stover, Volunteer