As we prepare to recognize Veterans Day in America on Nov. 11, today (Nov. 10) Four Seasons Compassion for Life (FSCFL) announced that one of the organization’s hospice care patients, Erwin “Gene” Carman, who is among approximately 558,000 veterans alive today, was honored for his service in World War II in advance of Veteran’s Day. Carman, while serving in the US Army Air Corps, was shot down over France in August of ’44 and subsequently captured by German forces —they surrendered to him 11 days later.
According to FSCFL:
Since its partnership with the national initiative “We Honor Veterans” in November 2014, Four Seasons hospice has honored nearly 300 veterans by formally thanking them in a pinning ceremony, which includes a “final salute” by a member of MOAA (Military Officers Association of America.) This time, it was Carman’s turn.
Carman wore a pressed, blue Oxford shirt and sat upright in bed. He was alert and surrounded by visitors, including his daughter, Dr. Carrie Carman. At 99 years old he was not used to being the center of attention, but greeted everyone warmly. John Knapp, a member of MOAA there to perform the ceremony, acknowledged that since Carman served in the Army Air Corps, he came prepared with a pin depicting the US flag crossed with the Army flag. However, just in case Carman identified himself more as an Air Force man, he had brought a pin with the Air Force and US flags crossed. Carman chose the Army flag, which Knapp pinned to the right lapel of Carman’s jacket. Knapp called all veterans in the room to attention, and all, including Carman still sitting as straight as his frame could hold him, raised their right hands in salute.
FSCFL’s We Honor Veterans Program recognizes veteran patients for their service to the United States. Call the Foundation office at 828-513-2440 to learn about volunteering and making a gift, and visit the FSCFL website. Four Seasons serves 11 counties in Western North Carolina.
Ed. note: In our November 2017 issue of Capital at Play we have a profile of John Mahshie, co-founder and executive director of Hendersonville-based Veterans Healing Farm. Follow that link to read the story, and go to the Farm’s website to find out more about their activities for and with regional veterans.