Trinity Health System launches program to honor veterans
STEUBENVILLE — Trinity Health System has launched a new program to honor employees and patients who have served in the nation’s armed forces.
The hospital’s “Honor Red, White & Blue” veteran’s program recognizes the contributions of past and current members of the military. While employees and volunteers who have served will receive special lanyards to hold their name tags and a free meal if they work on Veteran’s Day, patients who have served will, with their permission or the permission of their family, be recognized throughout their stay — including American flag stickers affixed to their door frames and employees thanking them every step of the way for their service.
If family members agree, service veterans who die at Trinity will be accorded full honors, including a flag tribute, a special prayer by the chaplain or another employee and the playing of taps. Families also will be presented with a red, white and blue-themed tote bag to store their loved one’s belongings along with a challenge coin and special prayer card. Available staff members also will stand at attention in the hallways as the body is removed.
Schelley Brooks, executive director of the Jefferson County Veterans Service Commission said she was amazed “someone was thinking forward to present a program that means so much to veterans their families.”
“It’s a simple gesture that means so much,” Brooks told the crowd assembled for the program launch.
Mayor Jerry Barilla said it was a “fitting way to honor those who have served and are serving,” while Lori Damis, a Trinity employee whose daughter and son-in-law both served in Iraq, said she’s “so proud to be part of an organization that sees value in honoring veterans as employees and patients.”
“They’re special people, and it’s so important to recognize them for their self-less service to their country,” Damis said. “We truly are the home of the free because of the brave.”
Bishop Jeffrey Monforton said the nation’s service veterans should be celebrated for being willing to give their lives “fighting for our freedoms, for our protection and for preservation of” our way of life.
“On behalf of the Catholic church, thank you,” he said before offering a blessing for the items to be used in Trinity’s Honor Red, White & Blue program.
“Every soldier, at the end of the day and during the day, is about the service of peace.”
“It’s a small gesture, just a drop in the bucket for what we owe them as a nation,” Trinity President and CEO Matt Grimshaw noted, adding it’s important to “take time to celebrate” the nation’s veterans.