Monday, November 14, 2016

by Guest blogger, Johanna Thomas
November is the unofficial start to the holiday season.  Some get into the spirit of the holidays immediately after Halloween.   Others dislike that Thanksgiving is almost always overlooked.  Facebook is full of friendly battles over when it’s appropriate to start decorating for the season.  On November 1st? Before Thanksgiving?  After Thanksgiving?   Most of us might never agree on the best time to start the celebrations.

What all of us can agree on is that November is also the month were we celebrate and give thanks to our Veterans.  Every year on November 11th we remember to give our thanks and show our appreciation to all of the sacrifices veterans have made for our freedom.  Here at Trinitas Regional Medical Center I am proud to say that we do not wait until Veterans Day to honor our veterans.  With the collaboration of Trinitas’ Palliative Care and the Hospital Elder Life Program, the “We Honor Veterans” program ( was implemented to honor and thank those hospitalized patients who served in the military. 
Since we started the recognition program we have honored over 45 veterans (and families) from all branches of service.  Patients who are identified as a veteran get a personalized certificate of appreciation, a thank you card, and an American flag.  The “We Honor Veterans” program at Trinitas Regional Medical Center has honored veterans from WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, and Peacekeeping. 
I felt grateful to shake the hand of a patient who was a member of the Borinqueneers, a Puerto Rican regiment of the US Army (  We were honored to be in the presence of one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military pilots!  As the staff presented him with his recognition certificate he told us several stories about the hardships and discrimination black pilots endured during their service. 

Another moving story came from a family whose estranged father had served in Vietnam.  The Social Work Team at Trinitas was able to locate the adult children and present them with their father’s certificate days before their father died.  Another patient thanked us through tears and said that no one had ever done that for him. 

Several of the veterans we have recognized during their hospital stay have struggled with addictions, PTSD, and depression to name a few.  During their hospitalization, our goal is to acknowledge their sacrifice to our country and to assist them and their families with any support services we can provide.  Our true democracy was and continues to be possible because of the brave men and women who fought for it.  At TRMC, with our most humble and sincere gratitude, we are proud to be a part of a team that recognizes and acknowledges the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families. 

Veterans can be honored any day of the year, not just on Veterans Day.
For more ways to support/honor veterans visit:

#trinitasregionalmedicalcenter #TRMC #wehonorveterans #veterans #veteransday