Wyoming volunteers make sure no veteran dies alone

Cheyenne VA Medical Center changing the lives of veterans

CHEYENNE, WY (KGWN/CNN) – The Cheyenne VA Medical Center is changing the lives of veterans, even in their last hours.

These volunteers aren’t building houses or making shelters, they are using their time to build an even stronger bond.

“Sometimes holding their hands if they want you to hold their hands, sometimes just listening to them talk,” volunteer Dr. Tom Cassidy said.

Support comes in different ways, “sometimes just saying nothing and being there,” Dr. Cassidy said.

And for the veterans, “the company,” Lyle Tayson said.

Being there for those who have been there for us by fighting for our country.

“My dad was in World War II… sorry… it’s kind of a payback, and you really do get a lot more back from them than you ever would give them,” volunteer Kim Fisher said.

Its a program called “No Veteran Dies Alone,” and volunteers spend their time getting to know the veterans.

“Mary and I have adopted each other, and so we’re there for each other once a week,” volunteer Mary Homiak said.

Chaplain Carol Carr began the program 3 years ago and has been training volunteers for the journey since the start.

“They’re just all gifted, gifted people from all walks of life just wanting to give back to the veterans who have served us,” Chaplain Carr said.

Tayson is one veteran in this program who said he enjoys the company

“I like to talk, I like to talk about myself, who doesn’t?” Tayson said.

But sometimes those who give the support need to receive support as well.

“Dealing with people who are dying can bring up emotions and can put somebody in a place where they need to possibly talk about what their experience was,” Father David McElwain, himself a retired Navy Chaplain, said.

An experience that will last a lifetime.

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