Thirteen veterans of foreign wars were recognized and honored as part of a "We are Veterans" program hosted by Kindred Hospice.
The program, which was one of 14 in the area hosted at various retirement homes, was held earlier this week at Pleasant Manor in Waxahachie.
Executive Director of Kindred Hospice Kelly Brooks said, “We do this to give back to our community, back to our veterans and say thank you, because each and every one of us is truly committed to our veterans each and every day.”
Petty Officer Green and Petty Officer Davis were invited to help administer the acknowledgment and American flag pins to those who served.
The ceremony opened with the pledge of allegiance and national anthem, then with a word of prayer.
Margret Farmer, who served in the Marine Corps for six years, shared the poem “Lest We Forget.” During the reading, those in the audience who had served wiped tears from their cheeks.
Each branch of the military was introduced with facts and the mottos, along with the people who served in each.
Brooks closed the ceremony saying, “This may seem inadequate compared to what our veterans have done for us and our freedom. It is done with our sincere appreciation, dedication, and commitment to our veterans.”
Blankets handmade by the Women's Fellowship at the Poetry United Methodist Church were given to each veteran.
Farmer, who read the poem earlier, was the only woman recognized in the ceremony.
Farmer was touched by the ceremony and was thankful for the patriotism. She was glad to see so several others around her who served that she can now swap stories with.
Farmer said, “It’s nice to have these remembrances like this because it also gives you an opportunity to nail down who else had been in the military and to say something nice and pleasant that’s memorable to them.”
She added, “Well it’s nice to be remembered for the service you gave, but the service that we gave was just a matter of duty or something that we were looking forward to. We were ready to get into it up to our elbows right until the very end. The fact that it came out very poorly, it’s not our fault. We just stayed there and fought until they said to.”
Farmer joined the Marine Corps in 1968, but says, “I did all the right things for all the wrong reasons.”
“I had been engaged to a Green Beret, and like a dope he got himself blown in half before he was supposed to come home. And two weeks after that I had graduated high school, and two weeks after that I would have been Mrs. Grutzmacher, and I was looking forward to that. Well, I found out he’d been blown in half. I had spent every dime on wedding preparations, so I couldn’t even go to his funeral in California. I went into an emotional tailspin.”
Five months after her fiancé’s death, a friend of Farmer’s went to visit her and pried her out of the house. While out and about, two military men caught Farmer’s eyes. She “tore after them” and was led straight to a Marine Corps recruiting office.
She thought it would be the best idea to register. “It filled in the gap that was left. That was my way of fighting my mourning,” Farmer added, “If you need to cry, well the Marines will give you a good reason to cry.”
Farmer said her purpose in the Marine Corps was to do anything they asked of her. Well, one day while in the field, she noticed things were too quiet. Making the right call, the whole group of them started to migrate. While walking on a deer trail, carrying a 55-pound radio, Farmer found herself tumbling down a mountain.
Farmer survived, breaking several bones. Carrying the heavy radio saved her from breaking her neck or back. But she was given the news she had to be discharged to go home and recuperate. She begged to stay, reasoning that she could still type in a wheelchair.
Her boss insisted she gets better.
Farmer served six years as Lance Cpl. in the secretarial pool, working for the common knot of the Marine Corps.