Veterans honored at South Bend Memorial Hospital - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Veterans honored at South Bend Memorial Hospital

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There were lots of teary eyes and proud smiles at South Bend Memorial Hospital on Tuesday. Beacon Health System, parent company of Memorial and Elkhart General Hospital, held an honor ceremony for their associates and patients who have served in the military.

For a Vietnam vet like Bill Howard, he is just happy to see America honoring their military more often and whole-heartedly.

"The country is refreshingly paying more attention to past and current veterans who are serving, as opposed to the time when I served in the hippie sixties."

Bill is in remission from Lymphedema, a by-product of agent orange. Even after all of his treatment at Memorial, he still honors his fallen vets over himself.

"If anything else I'm fortunate because the Lord has allowed me to continue to be here.  I'm still able to give," says Bill. "[It's] recognition not for me but for people who pay the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice, who are not with us."

The ceremony included a bugle attention performance, 21-gun salute, flag raising, the Pledge of Allegiance, and of course the National Anthem.

These traditional actions of honor still bring out a lot of emotion in families. Nakisha McGee is an Insurance Coordinator at Memorial, and gets choked up by the 21-gun salute.

"My grandfather had a 21-gun salute and to know how they take that to heart for their fellow men or women, it means a lot," says Nakisha. "It means a lot that my employer recognized not only my grandfather but the many others of our community who have served, who have given their life,"

There were various speakers at the ceremony to express their honor and gratitude for the armed forces.

Judge Robert Miller Sr. spoke at the ceremony on behalf of Miller's Vets. Miller's Vets is a drill team comprised of homeless vets. One of the services they offer to the community are funeral services to low-income vets, at no cost to them or their families.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg also spoke at the ceremony. Mayor Buttigieg serves as a Lieutenant to the US Navy Reserves.

At the end of the ceremony, President of Memorial Hospital Kreg Gruber presented gift bags to veterans and families of veterans. Despite the chilly rain, there was still a large turn-out for the ceremony. Veterans were able to enjoy cake and refreshments after the service.

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