|Dr. David Tribble|
Some time ago at a National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization session on care for veterans, the speaker asked all the veterans in the room to stand up. Then she asked if anyone still seated had been in the service and worn the uniform, and about as many more stood up (including me).
She told us, “You are veterans, too.”
I served as a physician in the United States Air Force for 7 years, remained stateside the entire time, and never saw combat, though I certainly spent enough time with its aftermath. I also delivered babies, cared for the families, and saw to the health of active duty servicepeople, and I have a keen appreciation of just what that life demands both of the service people and their families.
Somehow, I have always considered all of them veterans, but myself less so. I got to do for them what I love to do, never had to leave my home to do it, and had the benefit of experiences I would never have had in any other setting.
Other veterans have left their families behind for remote tours and moved themselves and their families every few months or years. Many have been in harm’s way and changed both mentally and physically for the rest of their lives. They have given and continue to give much more than was ever asked of me.
So I salute all of you who have served, who serve now, and who will serve in the maintenance of the freedoms we enjoy. I am glad we have matured as a nation to the point where we properly honor our veterans, particularly those who have seen combat, but also those who have served and supported them and their families. I am humbled to be considered part of that group.
I am also proud that the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization encourages all of us to have specific programs for veterans, whose palliative care and hospice needs are unique, and who have earned all we have to offer them.
A proud Veterans Day to you all.