Veteran Pinning Ceremony: Honoring Wesley Topping

Wesley Topping

EveryStep Hospice patient and U.S. Army Signal Corps veteran Wesley Topping, 71, was recently honored during a special veteran "pinning" ceremony in July, held at his daughter's home in Farmington. The ceremony was part of a July 4 family celebration.

Topping, a Vietnam veteran, was a boots-on-the-ground member of the U.S. Army Armor Company and as such, he prepared weapons and ammunition near the DMZ – the border between North and South Vietnam. 

Topping was joined at the ceremony by his brothers Carl and Dennis and his daughters, Mindy Vogt, Kathy Countryman, Tiffany Sallee and Julie Carr. During the presentation, he received a certificate, flag pin and small flag from his Mount Pleasant EveryStep Hospice care team and the organization’s volunteers. Topping also received a patriot quilt that was donated by the Harmony Bible Church Ladies Quilt Group in Danville. 

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’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 come to terms with past events, and find peace at the end of life.

The EveryStep Hospice team in Mt. Pleasant is in special need of Veteran-to-Veteran volunteers to serve patients in southeast Iowa. Contact the team's volunteer coordinator, Machelle Lowe, if you are interested in learning more: or 319-217-1409.

To learn about volunteering opportunities across the 44 counties and many communities served by EveryStep Hospice, please visit