The VA Send Off For Uncle Ronnie

It was 4:30 a.m., Sunday morning. My husband and I were at the VA hospice unit in my Uncle Ronnie’s room.  He was lying on the bed, finally resting from his months long illness.

Within a few minutes the hospice chaplain joined us. It was good to see him. I appreciated his presence. Together we waited for the funeral home. When they arrived, the security guard also became part of our group.

We waited outside Ronnie’s room while his body was loaded on the funeral home gurney.  The door opened and Ronnie’s body was rolled out, draped with an American flag. They paused at the door as the security guard  signaled someone somewhere to start the music. From nowhere. From everywhere we begin to hear “Taps” being played. Everyone on the floor saluted Ronnie Patton as his body was rolled down the hall, down the elevator, and out the door.

It was a special moment in my life. It was a send off fit for a hero.