Ceremony in Tingley Honors Vietnam War Veteran Edward Tomas

With his family around him, Vietnam Army veteran Edward Tomas was quietly honored for his military service during a “pinning” ceremony June 8 arranged by the EveryStep Hospice team in Mount Ayr. EveryStep staff and volunteers, including two fellow Vietnam veterans, gathered in the Tingley farmhouse on a rural gravel road, where Ed is receiving care from EveryStep Hospice.

Edward served as a Vietnam gunner and helicopter co-pilot during the war. When he returned to the states, Ed married his wife of 55 years, Barb and together, they raised four children. They farmed and Ed worked many years as an over-the-road trucker, hauling freight over long distances. Originally living in Adel, Ed and Barb moved to a 32-acre farm in Tingley in 2006, where their grandson helps with the operation.

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. Ed was also presented with a patriotic quilt made by local volunteers.

Learn About EveryStep Hospice and the Veteran-to-Veteran Program

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 here. 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 here.