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Honoring all past, current service members
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Dear editor: Hospice Savannah’s staff, leaders and volunteers would like to thank and honor all past veterans as well as those currently going into harm’s way to protect our freedoms, liberty and security on this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Whether it was storming Omaha Beach on D-Day June 6, 1944, or raising the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, where we had over 26,000 killed or wounded, or nursing and tending the wounded in Korea, or being a “tunnel rat” in Vietnam, or fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to eliminate the terrorist threat to America, all our veterans past and present need to be recognized this day.  
Hospice Savannah has received a generous gift and endowment from Jim and Polly D. Strickland of Bloomingdale, the son and daughter-in-law of Master Gunnery Sgt. E-9 Roy. L. Strickland, retired U.S. Marines.These monies have been earmarked to create a memorial honoring our veteran patients, and to educate our staff on the unique end-of-life issues they face.
Twenty-five percent of all deaths in the United States each year are veterans of our armed forces. They have distinctive, often unrecognized needs that sometimes complicate the dying process and require skilled interventions from hospice clinicians. For example, veterans may under-report pain or fear because of deeply held stoic values. Combat veterans may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTST) and/or have sustained mental, emotional, social, spiritual or moral injuries. They may not only have witnessed trauma but caused it, and may need encouragement to engage in the work of forgiveness.
Thanks to the legacy of Master Gunnery Sgt. Roy L. Strickland, (1925 - 2010), Hospice Savannah is educating its staff and volunteers on veteran patients’ needs and is striving to recognize each veteran enrolled in our care by showing appreciation for their service to our country.
America is blessed to have young men and women who are willing to risk everything to protect us from the evil in the world. Let us raise them on our shoulders this day and honor them for their service to our country as they do for us every day of the year.

Art Gnann
Chair of Hospice Savannah Inc.’s
Veteran Initiative
(U.S. Navy 1968-1974)

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