Hope & Healing for Heroes: A Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event

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In 2020, Hospice of the Chesapeake is commemorating Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in a more intimate and informal way. This year’s event will seek to provide insight to Vietnam veterans on finding joy, healing wounds and seeking support.

Hope & Healing for Heroes: A Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, March 30, at the American Legion Post 226, 830 Mayo Road in Edgewater, Maryland. The doors will open at 8 a.m. for registration and to allow attendees time to enjoy a light breakfast and an opportunity to visit with representatives from agencies and organizations dedicated to assisting veterans. All Vietnam veterans and one guest are welcome to attend for free.

A review of the morning’s program provides insight into the nonprofit’s new approach to honoring the heart and soul of Vietnam War veterans on this annual day of commemoration. Guests will hear from retired Navy Capt. Eugene “Red” McDaniel, a former Vietnam War Prisoner of War. He will tell his story of six years in confinement and his long journey of healing, which he often shares with returning soldiers and sailors.

Other speakers include Navy Capt. Scott Salvatore, a psychologist with the Department of Homeland Security, who will discuss mindfulness; retired Army Brigadier General John P. Rose with the United States of America’s Vietnam War Commemoration, who will talk about his time in Vietnam; and Paul Tschudi, an Assistant Professor in Health Sciences at the George Washington University and an expert on grief who served as a medic in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. The master of ceremonies will be retired Army Col. Bert Rice, a Vietnam War veteran who is an active volunteer with Hospice of the Chesapeake’s We Honor Veterans program.

The second half of the program will be a panel discussion on the topic of finding hope and healing featuring Tschudi, Chesapeake Life Center Manager of Bereavement Services Amy Stapleton and Hospice of the Chesapeake Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric Bush. A question and answer session will follow.

The event is generously supported by TowerCares Foundation and Bill and Rose Lovelace.

It will take place on the day officially recognized as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in the state of Maryland, which was signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan in 2015. Hospice of the Chesapeake is honored to be part of that historic moment, as it was at the nonprofit’s request that the legislation was introduced by state Sen. John Astle in 2015. The intent of the law is to celebrate and acknowledge every Vietnam Veteran and give them the warm welcome and gratitude they deserved more than five decades ago.

As seating is limited, registration is required. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, visit hospicechesapeake.org/hope-and-healing.

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