Shout Out for Two Hoosier Village Veterans
By Chaplain Ron May
Hoosier Village staff members are encouraged to recognize the outstanding work of fellow team members by sending email ‘shout outs’ for jobs well done. In the same spirit, I offer a shout out for two Hoosier Village veteran residents who demonstrated great honor to a man they had never met and great service to his family.
August 20th looked like it was going to be a regular Tuesday. A phone call changed all of that.
The call came from Emily, a granddaughter of one of our residents. She works at a local funeral home.
Knowing that I was a retired Navy Reserve Chaplain, she was calling me in a last ditch effort to see if I knew of any way to secure military honors for a veteran who had died and was scheduled to be buried in 2 hours.
Air Force veteran Arnold “Buddy” Robins, a former resident of Indianapolis and more recent resident of Palm Beach Gardens, FL had died suddenly on August 16th at the age of 88. His body was to be laid to rest next to his deceased wife at Beth El-Zedek Jewish Cemetery in Fishers.
Buddy had served in the state of Alaska with the U.S. Air Force from 1953-55.
His military service was brief. Just two years. There was but one short sentence about his service in his obituary. No further information was given. No further information was needed. He had worn the uniform. He had served with dedication and pride!
His service entitled him to receive military honors at his graveside service.
Honors usually include the playing of TAPS, the folding and presenting of the U.S. flag by military personnel, and sometimes a 3-volley rifle salute.
Military honors are, however, contingent on submitting the necessary paperwork of a Separation or Discharge Document, usually referred to as a DD214.
In Buddy’s case, his separation document located in some file back at his home in Florida could not be retrieved in time by his family to secure the services of a military honors team.
Which is why the phone call came to me on Tuesday morning.
“Ron, you are my Hail Mary attempt to get some kind of military honors for this veteran”, Emily said to me on the phone.
“I’ll see what I can do”, I responded. I didn’t have much confidence. Who was I going to be able to reach on such short notice?
The graveside service, which was taking place 30 minutes from Hoosier Village, was set to start in 2 hours.
And then, it suddenly occurred to me. I have almost 100 veterans right in the backyard where I work at Hoosier Village.
I immediately checked my Resident Veteran Roster and contacted Al Grayson and Don Messaglia, two Air Force veterans, to see if they could render the military honors.
Al had served as an Air Force Captain from 1967-71 during the Vietnam era.
Don served as a Staff Sergeant with the Air Force from 1952-56, during the Korean Conflict.
Both men responded affirmatively as soon as I asked them to help. Al had been trimming bushes outside and Don had been on his way to lunch.
Ninety minutes later, the three of us were in suits at the cemetery.
We met Buddy’s three children and offered our condolences.
I briefed Al and Don that for the military honors I wanted them to stand at either end of the casket as I played a recording of TAPS.
Wearing around their necks the Air Force medals they had received from Hoosier Village when their names had been added to our Veterans’ Garden, both men rendered a sharp salute as the music began.
Pride filled my heart, both for the man in the casket who had served his nation and for the Air Force veterans on each side of the casket who never knew Buddy but chose to rush out to a cemetery to honor his service.
At the end of TAPS, the two representatives from the funeral home removed and folded the flag that had been draped over the casket.
I had asked AL to receive the flag from the funeral home representative and then present it to the daughter of the deceased.
Minutes before the start of the graveside service, I had handed Al a printed text of the words that should be spoken to the next of kin when presenting a flag. I had expected him to read the script while presenting the flag. Instead, he memorized it and spoke the words smoothly and with deep compassion as he handed the flag to Buddy’s daughter.
I had given Don an Air Force Medal (the kind we give our Air Force veterans at Hoosier Village) and asked him to present the medal to Buddy’s son. I did not give Don any script to use in presenting the medal. He made the presentation with his own words and from the heart.
In less than 10 minutes, the military honors portion of the graveside service was completed.
Al, Don, and I walked away sweating from the heat and grateful for the opportunity to have served a fellow veteran and his family.
I thanked both Al and Don again for their willingness to serve a veteran and his family by rendering military honors.
Two days later, I received a thank you card from Emily at the funeral home. In it, she stated, “Your thoughtful graveside attendance at the last minute made all the difference to a family grieving the loss of an extraordinary man.”
The thank you was addressed to me. But it really belonged to Al and Don. Two Air Force veterans who took the time to honor a fellow Air Force service member.
In Navy custom, the words Bravo Zulu mean well done. I offer my shout out praise in the form of a “Bravo Zulu” to Al and Don – two Air Force veterans who represented their Air Force branch and their retirement community well as they rendered honors to a deceased veteran.
Hoosier Village honors veterans with Veterans Garden
Twenty-five veterans were honored Thursday afternoon in a special ceremony at the Hoosier Village Chapel.
In an opening prayer, Hoosier Village Chaplain Ron May thanked those who served in the armed forces and those serving in public safety. He reminded guests that over this Memorial Day weekend, those families that have borne the loss of a loved one in service and the sacrifices of active and inactive veterans must not be forgotten.
Last year, a Veterans Garden was added to the property with support from the non-profit BHI Senior Living Foundation, displaying bricks with 164 honorees’ names, branch and dates of service.
Katrien Vanderbeck sang the National Anthem and God Bless the USA, as veterans and their families sang along.
“It’s a pleasure to honor our veterans and years of service. We’re excited to add your names to the bricks at Veterans Garden,” said Hoosier Village Executive Director Mindy Kantz.
All honorees are, or were, residents at Hoosier Village.
Three served during World War II, two served during both World War II and the Korean War, eight served during the Korean War, and 12 served during the Vietnam War.
As each of the 25 names was called, veterans stood to receive a medal and flag in appreciation for their service.
Four of the 25 were given to the widows of late veterans.
Several videos shown included the Veteran Garden Dedication ceremony in 2017, a Salute to Armed Forces and a Memorial Day tribute, ending with the playing of taps.
After the ceremony, guests were shuttled by golf cart to the Veterans Garden to see their own or a loved one’s name permanently stamped on each brick.
A representative from Indy Honor Flight was also on hand to accept applications. Indy Honor Flight takes veterans to Washington D.C. twice per year to visit those memorials dedicated to their service.
May said a number of Hoosier Village residents have been on the honor flight and as a volunteer. The experience was one he won’t forget.
Article source: www.timessentinel.com
Ernie Pyle Presents at Hoosier Village
If you love Ernie Pyle, you’ll want to see this tomorrow (Thursday) at Hoosier Village Retirement Center. Ron May gives a presentation…AS Ernie Pyle.
Hoosier Village welcomes an unexpected guest… Guess whoooo?
Mr. and Mrs. Kelly of Spindletree found a visitor on their porch this past Sunday whose beauty is worthy of sharing. They also had a heartwarming experience with PROVIDENCE WILDLIFE REHABILITATION and wanted to spread the word to the Hoosier Village Community. Everyone please visit this facility’s website and contact them for any wildlife in need of rescue.
Providence Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
2425 202nd St E Westfield, IN 46074
TEXT TO: 317-902-DUCK (3825)
Younger Seniors Line Up for Large Homes at CCRC
One non-profit continuing care retirement community (CCRC) operator has quickly sold all of its newly constructed luxury duplexes, attracting a highly sought after population of younger seniors in the process. The provider, Indianapolis-based BHI Senior Living, believes this shows that seniors do not necessarily want to downsize as they age, and the senior living industry could benefit by building bigger.
BHI recently sold the last of 30 newly constructed luxury duplexes at its 395-unit Hoosier Village community in Indianapolis. BHI has three other CCRCs in Indiana: The Towne House in Fort Wayne, Four Seasons in Columbus and Wesley Manor in Frankfort. The company also owns a 15-hole golf course located a short drive away from Hoosier Village.
Each duplex at Hoosier Village has many of the same design features you’d see in a standalone single-family dwelling, such grassy yards, mature trees, front porches, oversized two-car garages, open floor plans and upscale kitchens.
The homes represent a significant investment of roughly $14.5 million, with an additional $2 million going toward infrastructure such as roads and drainage. But that investment has paid off thus far, according to BHI’s president and CEO, John Dattilo.
“We had a tremendous response from the market,” Dattilo told Senior Housing News. “All of the units had deposits on them before we even started to build, and that was just a matter of a couple months.”
Not afraid of the basement
Part of the appeal of the big homes is that they offer everything one might have had in their pre-retirement dwelling, but with the added security and comfort of being part of a CCRC.
“When people came to one of our communities, they weren’t always looking to downsize or live a different lifestyle than they currently had,” Dattilo said. “They don’t want to leave their nice cabinets and countertops and stainless steel range hoods and crown molding.”
Some of the duplexes even come with finished basements—a feature some other CCRCs have shied away from, Dattilo said.
“People that are coming to us are coming from these homes with large, finished basements,” he added. “Traditionally, other levels in retirement community homes were kind of prohibitive, but we just decided we were going to duplicate what [retirees] already have at home.”
That focus on design and detail might be why the duplex’s residents are generally more affluent and younger than their counterparts in the CCRC’s independent living wing.
“We see a lot of applications come in from people with significant personal assets,” Dattilo said. “And if we can bring in a resident that is 72 versus 82 years old, that’s a big benefit to our community.”
Entry fees for residents range from $550,000 to $650,000. They also must pay a monthly service charge, depending on where they fall on the care continuum.
“I absolutely believe there is an untapped segment of the market,” Dattilo said. “For a long time, we had this predetermined notion of what retirement living is supposed to look like and feel like, but it’s exactly what we already have in our own homes.”
BHI, which Dattilo described as a “very entrepreneurial” nonprofit, increasingly sees its future in bigger homes for more independent residents. Future plans also include a second dog park, garden areas, pavilions and nature trails.
“I think you will see BHI gravitate in that direction,” Dattilo said. “We’re going to be looking at units with larger spaces, and we’re not going to be afraid to look at upstairs rooms, additions, or…things like basements.”
Written by Tim Regan
See original article: seniorhousingnews.com