We Honor Veterans (WHV) is a national program from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Its goal is to help hospice professionals better understand the challenges veterans may be facing due to illness, isolation or traumatic life experiences and guide them to a more peaceful death.

Partner organizations must meet specific requirements before achieving each level. Education is very important. All members of Lightways staff participate in yearly training to be sensitive to the unique care some veterans require at the end of life. They can also provide guidance to benefits and resources veterans are eligible to receive.

As part of their commitment to serving veterans, Lightways provides presentations in the community to educate the public on serious illness care and hospice care. Additionally, Lightways hosts events to honor those veterans who died while receiving their services at the annual Memorial Day ceremony in May and community veterans during the annual Veterans Day breakfast in November.

Recently, they began hosting smaller vet-to-vet cafes where veterans can come together to share their stories. These usually include a special meal or treat. “It is such an honor to hear the stories of these veterans and see the pride they have for serving our country,” noted Laureen Crotteau who oversees Lightways WHV program.

Veteran volunteers visit with patients who have had similar military experiences. They also provide pinning ceremonies to honor the patient for the service they gave to our country. Lightways works closely with Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Hospital and other VA clinics to provide the highest quality care to veteran patients. If you are or know a veteran facing a tough diagnosis or if you would like to provide companionship to another veteran during their journey, please contact Laureen Crotteau at 815.740.4104.

Founded in 1982 as Joliet Area Community Hospice, Lightways Hospice and Serious Illness Care is an independent, nonprofit healthcare provider licensed in 11 counties in Illinois. We provide exceptional serious illness care, hospice care and grief support for adults and children.