On Sept. 28, NE Post 630 helped the Hospice of Cincinnati and the City of Blue Ash put on a memorable welcome-home event for veterans at Summit Park in Blue Ash. The purpose of this event was to give veterans the “welcome home” they deserved. Although focused on Vietnam veterans, the event was open to all veterans and the community; over 120 veterans attended the event. Each veteran was given either a Vietnam pin or a flag pin along with a certificate from the hospice thanking them for their service. Box lunches were provided to all veterans prior to the ceremony. While they ate their meal, veterans and guests were alternately entertained by a six-piece brass band and a barber shop quartet. The thank-you ceremony began with the color guard of NE Post 630 presenting the colors and the quartet leading everyone in the singing of the national anthem. After brief introductory comments, the main speaker described each conflict in which America was involved, starting with World War II and continuing to the present day. After his remarks about each conflict, he would pause and ask those who served in that conflict to stand up, or raise their hand, and be recognized; enthusiastic supporters applauded as the veterans responded. The ceremony concluded with the Parade of Heroes. A crowd of flag-waving family, friends, volunteers and onlookers made a corridor for the veterans to walk down and exit the venue; the color guard led the parade. As the veterans walked past, hospice volunteers handed each veteran a gift bag containing thank you cards, a pen, sweet treats, a 7” by 7” patriotic-themed quilted square made by hospice volunteers, and a Grateful American coin with the emblem of each service engraved on it.
It was a very moving and respectful program that garnered a lot of praise from all who were there. It was a true welcome-home for all veterans. The Hospice of Cincinnati and the City of Blue Ash are to be commended for presenting such a wonderful and memorable event for veterans.