Kathleen O’Connor, Volunteer Coordinator for OPTUM Palliative and Hospice Care, was joined by coworker and Army veteran Christine Quave on Thursday, August 14 for a ceremony honoring the military service of Tel Hai resident, Walter Nauta. The informal ceremony was held in The Meadows health care center’s solarium with Mr. Nauta’s family members in attendance. The framed certificate and small American flag were presented by Ms. Quave; the pinning ceremony honors went to Nauta’s grandson, Max Nauta, who arrived in uniform. Lt. Nauta is currently serving in the Marine Corps Reserves in Colorado.
Walter Nauta and his wife, Joan moved to Tel Hai in December 2010 as residents in the Hillcrest apartments. Joan remains in the apartment home and can easily walk under-cover to visit Walter in the campus health care center. This ceremony recognized Mr. Nauta’s service in the US Army from 1946 to 1948. Private 1st Class Nauta served with B Company of the 63rdInfantry Regiment in Korea. As a mortar crew gunner he was trained in infantry combat techniques and tactical employment of the mortar.
Hospice-Veteran Partnerships were established in November 2001 with a focus on improving end-of-life care for veterans across the country. These coalitions of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, community hospices, State Hospice Organizations and others “work together to ensure excellent care is provided to our nation’s Veterans and their families.” The WeHonorVeterans.org website documents the startling numbers that underscore the need for such outreach and service coordination:
- More than 1800 veterans die every day. This represents a quarter of all deaths in the United States.
- Approximately 85% of veterans do not receive care through the VA health care system.
- Most veterans still die in the community; only 4% of veteran deaths occurs in VA facilities
The staff of OPTUM looks forward to planning many more such ceremonies to honor the service of military veterans that they serve throughout this area.
PHOTO: Army veteran and OPTUM Hospice staffer, Christine Quave presented Walter Nauta with a framed certificate and small American flag in recognition of his military serve. Pinning ceremony honors were handled by his grandson, Lt. Max Nauta of the Marine reserves.