Three area Veterans of the United States Army were honored recently by Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice (LSRVNA) as part of the national “We Honor Veterans” program. LSRVNA has been a We Honor Veterans Partner since 2011, which involves meeting specific requirements to enhance care for patients who served in the military. For those Veterans who are interested, that includes a special in-home recognition ceremony conducted by LSRVNA staff.
Ralph Rouillard of Claremont was honored posthumously on May 22 for his service as a PFC in the Army, peacetime, from November 1956 – November 1958. Though he passed away shortly before the scheduled ceremony, he was pleased to be acknowledged for his service and had shared the following details about his military experience with LSRVNA. After basic training at Fort Dix in NJ, he was transferred to Fort Monmouth in NJ for three months. He was then sent to a Nike missile base in Shelton, CT for a month and then to Fort Belvoir in VA for two months to be trained to prepare missiles and elevators in missile silos, specializing in hydraulics and electrical. He finished up at the Fairfield, CT base which was the headquarters for the east coast anti-aircraft missiles.
Harold Whiting Sr., a World War II Veteran and resident of Lempster, was honored on May 24 for his service as a PFC in the 7th U.S. Army, 157th Engineers Combat Battalion, Company B from December 2, 1943 – June 6, 1946. He enlisted at the age of 18 and recounts from his time in the European Theater, “We arrived at the Rhine River at about 5am. Our job was to build a landing for ducks (water-propelled cargo trucks). There was a tank already burning from the early morning that tried to cross but didn't make it to the water.” After discharge, Mr. Whiting returned to Lempster where he lives with his wife of 67 years, Beverly. On Memorial Day this year, a plaque was dedicated in Lempster honoring residents of the town who served in World War II. Harold Whiting’s name has now been added to this military “Honor Roll,” a well-deserved recognition after so many years.
Shirley Dodge of Claremont was honored on May 29 for her service in the Women’s Army Corps from 1962 – 1964. She entered the Army at the age of 18 and was stationed at Fort Benning GA at the airport with majors, captains and colonels, where she was trained to do clerical work. She loved being in the military and says, “The army made me grow up, learn discipline.”
The We Honor Veterans program was developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs. For more information, contact LSRVNA at 603-526-4077.