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 Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Page 5

Vietnam veteran Richard D. Welch was honored for his service by HCI Hospice Care Services prior to his death last month.
Pictured from left to right: WWII Navy veteran and HCI Hospice Care Services Veteran-to-Veteran Jake Dailey,Welch, Mr. Welch's second wife Ruth Welch and son Ryan Welch, who served more than 21 years in the Army as a sergeant major (E9).

Welch honored by HCI for military service

Richard D. Welch was honored for his military service during a veteran pinning ceremony held by HCI Hospice Care Services at Clearview Nursing Home prior to his death last month. Welch served as a staff sergeant in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He worked as a photo interpretation specialist for bombing, or potential bombing, missions.

After returning home, Welch moved to Lamoni, where he earned the nickname "Red Wrecker" as the owner of the local Amoco/Standard Oil Station.

The local HCI Hospice Care Services team has honored more than 80 of its patients through ceremonies like Welch's as part of its continued effort to ensure veterans receive specialized care at end-of-life.

The veteran pinning ceremony includes the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer of thanks, the awarding of a veteran service flag pin, the singing of "God Bless America," a reading of "What is a Veteran" and the presentation of a certificate of recognition. As a recent Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Partner, helping to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families, the team also presented Mr. Welch with a Vietnam veteran lapel pin and laminated proclamation letter from former President Barack Obama.

Specialized support for veterans is also offered through HCI HospiceCare Services' Veteran-to-Veteran Program, which recruits and pairs veterans who are hospice volunteers with patients who have served the nation. Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers provide companionship and understanding while talking, reading and sitting with patients. Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer Jake Daily was on hand at Welch's veteran pinning ceremony to offer support and present him with his pin and certificate along with Welch's son, Ryan Welch, who served in the Army for more than 20 years.

For information about care or volunteer opportunities for veterans, please contact HCI Hospice Care Services at (641) 464-2088 or visit hcicareservices.org

Photograph courtesy of Mount Ayr Record-News
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2017


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