BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Patients who are U.S. veterans at Hartford HealthCare St. Vincent’s Medical Center will be receiving a “Thank You” card from the hospital with a veteran’s pin attached this Veterans Day.
Chris Willey, Vice President of Operations, at Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, a veteran himself, started the annual recognition in 2019, and last year he helped present more than 200 pins to patients at St. Vincent’s.
“The inspiration came from a terminally ill veteran patient that we had on the floor a few years ago. There was a request made to have a veteran visit him, so I did, along with some other veteran colleagues, until he passed,” said Willey.
Willey, a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy, said the experience inspired him more than he expected.
“It meant a lot to this gentleman and his family that we spent time with him and talked about the ‘good ole days.’ Also, it’s an opportunity to give back, in a small way, and recognize fellow veterans for their service to our country – especially when they may be struggling with health issues and separated from loved ones,” he said.