Veterans helping uplift veterans in hospice care, CENTRA needs more volunteers

CENTRA has 88 veterans in hospice care across Central Virginia

BEDFORD, Va. – David Kinzer served as an engineer for the U.S. Army in the 1960s.

He didn’t go to war, but still has a connection with the hundreds of veterans in Central Virginia.

“No matter what branch there’s a bond there you just can’t put your finger on, Kinzer said.

Kinzer is one of the 22 volunteers CENTRA Hospice has signed up for its veteran to veteran program.

“It’s somebody you never met before, but you feel like you’ve known them all your life when you start talking because we have some same experiences.”

Some veterans who served in World War II and the Vietnam War are in their 90s and some are in their final days.

CENTRA said it has 88 veterans in hospice care across Central Virginia and that number is growing.

“We actually try our best to give them quality care for life towards the end of their lives,” Emma Clemenson, volunteer coordinator, said.

This is why CENTRA is desperately recruiting more veteran volunteers to help make the transition easier.

“We actually receive a request from the family for a volunteer to spend time for companionship,” Clemenson said.

Kinzer said working in hospice is about making a final impact in his comrades’ lives, but adds you have to have a heart for it.

“If they want to touch somebody’s life, this is a really great way to uplift these veterans and uplift yourself,” Kinzer said.

If you’re a veteran and you want to sign up, contact volunteer coordinators in Bedford, Farmville and Lynchburg offices.

Bedford: Emma Clemenson- 540-425-7682

Farmville: Justine Bowlin 434-315-5052

Lynchburg: Anita Lowe or Susan Coffey 434-200-7317