MASON CITY, Iowa – David Anderson often reflects on the time his mother Cleo Anderson served as a Registered Nurse in World War II.
This week she was recognized in a special, “Honoring Our Hospice Veterans Program” ceremony where she received a pin and a certificate.
“The ceremony itself is very simple it takes about 15 minutes for the entire ceremony. It’s very powerful and the stories are told during that time and again it’s that veteran to veteran connections by having that volunteer staff veteran present just brings out more of those stories,” says Barb Godfrey, Hospice of North Iowa Community Liaison.
During her time as a nurse, Anderson treated wounded soldiers in the field and was also one of the first responders at the concentration camps.
Now she is receiving that same care at Good Shepherd Health Center, since being diagnosed with dementia.
“My mother doesn’t know who I am and that’s very sad. I find myself not coming to visit her as often as I should,” says David Anderson, Son of Cleo Anderson.
Which is why Veteran and Chaplain Ed Barb says hospice veterans deserves to be treated with the upmost care.
“I feel that they have really received a great blessing from this honor because when they came back from the service they may have not been honored like they should have been,” says Barb.
As for David, he says although it has been a long road with his mother he wants to encourage others to be there for their loved ones.
“I talked to a couple people in a dementia support group, go to the dementia support group so that you understand how to go on.”
Barb says they have honored over 60 veterans for their service.