Longview Marines Continue Mission of Volunteering for Hospice Patients

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) – Marines are known for their toughness and never-give-up attitude, but a group of East Texas marine corps veterans have softened that image through volunteering.

Their mission: Comforting patients as they approach their end-of-life journey through Longview’s ‘AccentCare Hospice.’

A dozen years after a unique program started, these veterans continue to give back, often serving in ‘end of life’ journey with patients.

“They’re not going to go unrecognized, they’re not going out alone. And a lot of them are alone. some don’t have families, and some have forgotten them,” says Jim Jones, USMC 1966-69.

“They step up and do anything we need them to do. Toy drive at Christmas, picnics for all our staff. Not only with patients,” says Amber Treadwell with AccentCare Hospice.

They’ve heard the stories from many hospice veterans of different wars and battles.

“Veterans are going to connect with other veterans. I’ve had family members say ‘he never told us any of this,” Jones says.

And it’s because they are veterans, that they bring a shared experience.

“I listen as much as anything. And I think that’s 90 percent of doing this,” says Will Haggard, USMC 1967-71.

In 2012, the Hospice team visited the marine corps league HQ asking for help.

Their answer was simple.

‘We’re marines, volunteering is what we do’, and a dozen marines signed up for AccentCare Hospice.

“Yeah. that’s something I can do. Giving back a little bit. Whenever you’re giving, your the one getting something out of it. It hurts when they go,” Haggard says.

Two of the original members were honored today for their volunteer work with hospice patients.

“It’s a blessing for me personally to serve in this capacity,” says Haggard.

“I’ve had about 40 patients so far and I’ve kept notes on where they were what they served. I’ve met some sure enough heroes doing this,” says Jones.

The veterans say ‘more veteran volunteers’ are needed to continue the work with Accent-Care Hospice, to help give dignity to veterans in their life’s end journey.

Longview Marines continue mission of volunteering with hospice patients (kltv.com)

Longview Marines continue mission of volunteering with hospice patients (ktre.com)