Porter Regional Hospital hosted their First Annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday. During the event, Porter Health Care System CEO Sean Dardeau joined VFW Post 988 in honoring all members of the military, both active duty and veterans.
Monday’s ceremony was Porter Regional Hospital’s first time formally observing Veterans Day. They invited all their staff to submit photos and biographies of themselves or any family members who have served or are currently serving in any branch of the military. Each submission was collected and put up for display on a wall in the hospital lobby.
“I think it’s important that we honor our associates and their family members who have sacrificed for military service,” Dardeau said. “It’s obviously an anxious time for anyone when their family is away for service, so what you see here on this wall is a great deal of sacrifice and duty. We have to highlight those who have done so much to preserve our freedoms.”
Among those in attendance were Rebecca Rodriguez, whose child is staying in Porter Regional Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Her husband, Jonah Rodriguez, serves in the Air Force and just returned from deployment for the birth of his child at Porter Regional. He was at the hospital today to watch the ceremony.
“It’s really awesome to see this,” Rebecca Rodriguez said of the ceremony. “You don’t always see this kind of recognition from the outside. I was upstairs in the NICU with our baby and didn’t actually know this was happening until a few minutes ago.”
Jorge Perez, Commander of Post 988, made remarks and introduced his Vice Commander, Joe Garrison Jr. Garrison told the assembled crowd the story behind each fold in the iconic folded flag. Perez, Garrison, and the rest of the VFW Post 988 take part in numerous ceremonies every Veterans Day.
“It’s an honor to come out and do this for our fellow veterans and those who are serving now,” Perez said. “It shows that the community around us still cares. It’s great to be here, we’re glad that Porter Regional Hospital invited us out and is honoring other veterans.”
The event struck particularly close to home for Dardeau, who has three relatives who have served including both of his parents.
“If you have the opportunity to thank a vet or to help a vet, please take the opportunity to do that,” he said. “They’ve done so much for us, both individually and as a country. We need to step up and take care of them when they need us. I’m very proud of all these men and women represented here today, and I hope to host a similar ceremony next year, maybe even grander.”
To learn more about Porter Health Care System, visit www.porterhealth.com.