Veteran pinning ceremonies are a way to honor veterans and thank them for their service. Over the years, Gilchrist has pinned hundreds of veterans, and coordinated ceremonies not just for veterans at Gilchrist, but for the community-at-large. Below you will find just a few of our many touching tributes to veterans.
Retired Navy Second Class Petty Officer, Warren (Bud) Gensler, never had aspirations to be a poet. But in 2007, he wrote a poem about his experiences in WWII, specifically at Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima where he helped carry the flag to the men for the first raising. He often read the poem at Memorial Day ceremonies, but as the years passed, it became increasingly more difficult for him to do so. In 2015, he expressed interest again and it was arranged for him to read his poem in front of a small audience at Joyous Assisted Living in White Marsh.
On Veterans Day, more than 35 Gilchrist staff and volunteers fanned out across the region to conduct Pinning Ceremonies at facilities operated by our partner Lorien Health Systems. From Mt. Airy to Havre de Grace, from Elkridge to Columbia and Towson, nearly 300 veterans were honored and their sacrifices acknowledged. Members of Gilchrist’s Facility Based Care Teams and Gilchrist volunteers offered pins of gratitude and remembrance to all resident veterans, and not just those who are part of our hospice program.
There are occasions where we have the pleasure of pinning several veterans in special ceremonies. In 2013, we coordinated with Oak Crest Retirement Village to have two – one for July 4th and one on Veterans Day where we pinned 195 veterans. On Veteran’s Day, there was a choir, color guard and notable speakers such as Gilchrist Board Chair and retired General Benjamin Lucas and retired First Sgt. Matthew Eversmann whose heroic story unfolds in the book and movie Black Hawk Down.