EveryStep Ceremony in Chariton Honors Veteran Arlan Risbeck

Navy veteran Arlan Risbeck was honored December 29, 2021, with a veteran “pinning” ceremony arranged by the EveryStep Hospice team in Knoxville. The ceremony was held at Arlan’s home in Chariton.

Arlan began his service career in Vietnam, enlisting for four years in 1957 at the age of 18, and re-enlisting for two more years in 1961. He was part of a 13-man reconnaissance team sent in to gather coastal data. “We would go in, and if there was a road alongside the ocean, we’d put it on a map. If there was a cliff too high to bring people on shore, we’d put it on the map. In other words, we would see what was up against you before we sent a landing party in,” says Arlan.

When Arlan returned to the U.S. in 1963, he got married and worked for a sheet metal company in Des Moines. During that time, Arlan and his wife raised two daughters. When his job took him to a construction site in Colorado, he and his family fell in love with the area. They moved to Castle Rock and Arlan started his own sheet metal business.

During his time in Colorado, Arlan earned his pilot’s license and served in the Air National Guard, later transferring to the Air Force Reserve Civil Air Patrol as a Liaison Sergeant. Arlan spent 14 years in that role, serving as the pilot for search and rescue teams looking for lost hunters and hikers in Colorado. When complimented on his years of military service, Arlan humbly said, “Well, I guess it just worked out that way.”

The veteran pinning ceremony touched 82-year-old Arlan deeply. “It was pretty emotional,” says Arlan. “It was very nice. It’s nice [to know] veterans are remembered.” Though Arlan is receiving home hospice care, he insisted on standing throughout the entire ceremony.

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.

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 https://www.everystep.org/volunteer/get-started. If you or someone you know needs care or support, complete the confidential "Find Care" form at www.everystep.org/find-care. 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.


Pictured above: Arlan Risbeck (seated) is joined by members of the EveryStep Hospice team in Knoxville: Patty Schwanebeck, RN, Amber Denburger, social worker and Curt Froyen, veteran volunteer.