July 4, 2020
Honoring His Service: EveryStep Hospice Patient Roger Rhoads
Roger Rhoads was born in Nebraska but has called Iowa - and the Des Moines area - home for much of his life.
Except for the years the EveryStep Hospice patient served as an artillery cannoneer in the Army during World War II.
During that time, Rhoads was stationed in Belgium, Germany and Austria where he was at the Battle of the Bulge and worked on a half-track (an armored personnel carrier).
While Rhoads saw much during his time in the army, he retired from service shortly after returning from the war to Iowa. In fact, he was so rooted in Iowa, he lived in the same house with his wife Josephine from 1952 until just a few years ago when it was sold. The couple was married for 73 years until Josephine's passing earlier this year.
His son, Tom, recalls that following the war, Rhoads spent his time working and enjoying his family.
"We did a lot of camping, just about every weekend we'd go camping," Tom notes. "He was also into photography and music. He loved all the big bands."
Rhoads became a patient of EveryStep Hospice in February. The hospice team visits him at the assisted living facility in Bondurant where he lives.
Shortly after becoming a patient, Rhoads was honored with a veteran pinning ceremony celebrating his service.
EveryStep Hospice regularly hosts Veteran pinning ceremonies, providing 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.
The ceremonies include the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer of thanks, 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.