We have heard it said many times how one dedicated person - despite the odds or circumstances - can have a profound effect on a community or an individual. For Chicago Red Cross Volunteer Laura Landoe, the difference she makes is quiet and intimate. Landoe is one of a handful of volunteers who work with the No Veteran Dies Alone program at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center at Great Lake Naval Station in North Chicago, Illinois.
The No Veteran Dies Alone is a palliative care program designed to provide the best quality of life for patients who no longer respond to medical treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities across the country.
“It’s so important to me to be there to honor the veterans and to serve the country in the way I can,” said Landoe. “I wasn’t in the military, but I want to be there to honor the veterans, their service and their lives.”
Landoe’s role is to provide companionship and assistance, giving constant bedside comfort and most importantly, ensuring that no veteran faces death alone. There are times she holds a veteran’s hand, talks with them, reads to them and sometimes, sings hymns to them.
This Memorial Day as we fire-up the grill, head for the swimming pool, gather with family, and celebrate the start of summer, let us stop and remember the real reason for this holiday. It’s an opportunity to honor the men and women who have given their lives in service of their country while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces – and people like Landoe who serves our country in her own special way.
To learn more about volunteering for the Red Cross in support of the military and veterans’ communities, visit our Service to the Armed Forces page or contact your local Red Cross chapter.