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NEWS | Nov. 15, 2019

343rd Training Squadron Airmen volunteer at Veterans Day event

By Allison Miller 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Three 343rd Training Squadron Airmen participated in a Veterans Day ceremony for residents of Legend Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation Nov. 8.

Staff Sgt. Bradley Rayburn, Staff Sgt. Victor Medina-Ornelas and Tech. Sgt. Caleb Hoferman distributed certificates and pins to veterans who were recognized in the ceremony organized by Beacon Hospice of San Antonio.

“Myself, and the others recognized that volunteering for something as simple as handing out certificates to these veterans would mean so much more to them than we could possibly realize,” Hoferman said. “The love and many thanks for being present at the event from each of the veterans and staff members painted a clear picture of just how great of an impact we had.”

Maintaining a strong bridge between the military and local civilian community is crucial to the U.S. Air Force mission said Hoferman.

“This event was a great opportunity to get involved with the local community especially with one that has so many veterans,” Hoferman added. “It was very humbling and has motivated me and others to get more involved with our local veteran community.”

Hospice organizations host these events to celebrate the services and efforts of veterans who are staying in long-term care facilities or are not able to attend veteran activities on their own.

“It’s important to us to come in and honor the veterans and to show our appreciation for serving our country and everything that they’ve done for our freedom,” said Valerie Casanova, Beacon Hospice regional director. “We partner up with all of our facilities that have long-term residents who are veterans in order to do so. It’s just a day of recognizing and honoring them.”

Casanova and Hoferman said that they both have veterans who have impacted their lives and contributed to where they are today. Having the opportunity to be involved in events that give back to the veterans is very important to them.

“To see and hear the stories of what they’ve done, it really makes you have a deeper appreciation because a lot of society today just isn’t aware of what these men and women actually go through,” Casanova said. “So to be able to hear and see these stories firsthand it really puts things in perspective for you of why they do what they do and how grateful we really all should be.”