Carroll Hospice honors 'indisputable heroes' at annual veterans breakfast

A Missing Man Table was set up in front of the Shauck Auditorium room at Carroll Hospital during Carroll Hospice’s seventh annual We Honor Veterans Breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 8, an event to which more than 130 veterans RSVP’d.

The table set for one is small, symbolizing the frailty of one isolated prisoner, said James Mingle, a Carroll Hospice chaplain.

“The inverted wine glass represents that they cannot toast with us,” he said. “We remember. Until the day they return home and find eternal peace, we remember.”

Gold Star Mothers Maryland Chapter President and Chaplain Janice Chance was the keynote speaker for the breakfast, and took the opportunity to thank the veterans who came to the complimentary breakfast.

As her son died while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan in 2008, she also said she wanted to make sure those who have fallen are never forgotten.

“I want to share our commitment as Gold Star Mothers, finding strength and fellowship with other mothers, and keep the memory of our sons and daughters alive,” Chance said before the breakfast

She said her son, Jesse Melton, was the inspiration for her daughter, Jenine Melton, to join the military. Later he was an inspiration for her to continue her work, when she was sent to Afghanistan.

“She decided to go to Afghanistan to honor her brother because he didn’t get to finish his tour,” Chance said. “She spent 18 months there.”

Also at the breakfast was newly re-elected Maryland Del. Susan Krebs.

“You, the men and women who’ve given your life to save this nation, are indisputable heroes,” Krebs said. “Our gathering today is one small spark in the flame of pride that exists across this nation. We are forever grateful.”

The event was hosted by Carroll Hospice, a subsidiary of Carroll Hospital, as a part of its We Honor Veterans program which is in its seventh year.

“This is really, in many ways, a signature event for us to really demonstrate our simple and not-so-simple ways of supporting our veterans,” Carroll Hospice Executive Director Regina Bodnar said Thursday morning.

Ellen Finnerty Myers, the chief data officer and vice president of external affairs of Carroll Hospital, said the event used to be held at Carroll Hospice but has outgrown the venue.

“It’s almost ready to outgrow us here, too. It’s our honor to do this. We really enjoy this. We have over 200 patients that we serve, and many are veterans. We want to be able to serve everybody and be able to provide them a special end-of-life program, presenting them a pin and a flag,” she said.

“That’s what end of life is about, making it special and personal.”

jennifer.turiano@carrollcountytimes.com

443-488-0369

twitter.com/jturianoCCT

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