On Nov. 11, we salute veterans — men and women who have worn the cloth of our country and deserve special recognition for their military service.
To “salute” is a phrase we often use, but what does it mean to our veterans? The salute with the right hand is a gesture of trust among service members. One explanation for its origin is that knights in armor would raise their visors with the right hand to identify themselves when meeting a comrade. The practice evolved to the hand salute we know today.
The salute is a sign of respect to fellow service members, our flag and our country. It is a greeting among professionals that is rendered and returned with pride.
At Texas Health we’re inspired by stories of employees such as Valerie Crook, a register nurse and ICU manager at Texas Health Denton and Nurse Corps lieutenant in the Navy Reserve. Valerie recently returned from a nine-month military deployment to Africa. As we begin the holiday season, let’s remember mobilized reservists like Valerie who are serving under arduous conditions far from their families.
We also salute the more than 400,000 veterans living in North Texas.
Earlier this year, Texas Health Plano Volunteer Services launched a veteran visitation program. It connects volunteers who are veterans with patients who have also served in the military for a visit during the patient’s hospital stay.
Our Final Salute program extends our gratitude to veterans who complete their earthly tour of duty at one of our hospitals. The program is a poignant, respectful event that unites hospital staff, medical staff physicians, volunteers and family members in tribute to a veteran’s service as the flag-draped body is escorted from the hospital. Texas Health Arlington Memorial, which launched the program in 2015, recently observed its 200th Final Salute. Hospitals throughout the system have now embraced this touching way to honor veterans.
To all veterans, I salute you. It’s truly a privilege to serve those who have served our country.
Barclay Berdan is the CEO for Texas Health Resources.