As part of Medi Home Health and Hospice's We Honor Veterans Program, volunteers Michael Stephenson and Roger
Jenkins were recently honored for their military service. It came as quite a surprise to Mike and Roger, as they have participated in numerous “pinning” ceremonies for veteran hospice patients, presenting award certificates and pinning American flag pins on their lapel or hat. Medi Home Health and Hospice has, in turn, honored two of their own at their annual Volunteer Appreciation Event. Medi Chaplain, Sherrill Michael, presented the framed Army and Navy certificates and pinned them after reading these words, “Thank you for your service to our nation. Thank you for the sacrifices you made and your willingness to serve our country. You endured hardships and you were willing to risk your life to maintain our freedom. On behalf of Medi Home Health and Hospice, please accept our thanks and gratitude. When you see this pin, know that your service to the nation is deeply appreciated. We Thank You!”
Mike, a veteran of the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1969, was assigned to the 60th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment out of Fort Meade, Maryland, some of that time was spent in V iet Nam. He was part of the supporting personnel, guarding Tan Son Nhut Air Base, near Saigon. “My memory is of flares, helicopter gunships, tracer fire and 122mm rockets hitting the base.” “I consider myself very lucky.”
After returning stateside, he joined the Army National Guard and then the Army Reserve. Changing gears, Mike attended Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI and was commissioned Ensign in 1981. He was assigned to the USS Nassau (LHA-4), an amphibious assault ship and served as the Aviation Ordnance Officer. Later he became a Training and Administration of Reserves (TAR) Officer and was assigned to a major reserve center in Buffalo NY where he eventually requested a change in Designator for Naval Intelligence and was assigned to the Fleet Intelligence Center Europe/Atlantic. Then onto the Naval Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center in Dam Neck, VA.
Mike “went across the brow” for the last time in December of 1992 and retired as Lieutenant (03) USNR. “Overall, my military career was beneficial. The Army is the most pronounced in my memory. I think of VietNam every day. Maybe it's because of the on-going war now and I see and hear of the young men and women who are serving overseas and I identify with them.
Roger has also been in the military for over two decades, serving in the U. S. Army and the U. S. Navy, including enlisted and commissioned service. The military stationed him in many overseas and stateside locations. Roger stated, “Everyone has an opportunity to be generous in their own way, volunteering with hospice is one of the most rewarding ways to give back.”