EveryStep Ceremony Honors Vietnam Veteran Dwight Matheny

In a room filled with family and friends, Vietnam veteran Earl “Dwight” Matheny was honored June 14 at Clearview Home in Mount Ayr. The veteran pinning ceremony was arranged by the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Ayr.

Born in 1947, Dwight married Carol Ann (nicknamed “Mike”) in 1965 after a courtship that began in junior high. Together they owned and operated a grocery store, and later a restaurant and bar in Clearfield. Dwight and Mike had one daughter and when they became grandparents, they enjoyed having the grandkids at their house for a month each summer. Mike passed away in 2020.

EveryStep’s veteran pinning ceremonies provide honor, dignity and recognition to veterans at the end of their lives. Family members and friends are often on hand with EveryStep staff and volunteers during the celebratory events, which include the Pledge of Allegiance, the awarding of a veteran service flag pin, the singing of “God Bless America,” a reading of "What is a Veteran," and the presentation of a certificate of recognition. Dwight was also presented with a patriotic quilt made by local volunteers.

“It was just very important for us to be here for the pinning ceremony,” said Dwight’s sister, Donna Moore of Creston. “It was an honor to be here and they did a wonderful presentation.” Dwight’s nephew, Clint Kniep added, “Every veteran deserves this.”

EveryStep is a nonprofit health care organization and a Level 4 partner in the nationally recognized We Honor Veterans initiative. Through its hospice program, EveryStep offers several specialized services for veterans. EveryStep’s Veteran-to-Veteran program is a special service pairing veterans who are volunteers with hospice patients who have served our country. A specialized Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer can provide companionship while talking, reading and sitting with patients. Veterans bring a unique skill set to help patients find peace at the end of life.

To learn about volunteering opportunities across the 44 counties and many communities served by EveryStep Hospice, please visit out volunteer information page. If you or someone you know needs care or support, complete the confidential "Find Care" form. The form sends a message to EveryStep staff who then follow up with a phone call. It's a great way to start a conversation and get answers with no cost or commitment. EveryStep can connect the individual to its own programs and services that may be helpful, as well as services offered by other organizations and providers in the community.

If you are a veteran interested in volunteering your time to visit hospice patients, learn more or complete a volunteer application.