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Story - Advocates for a Veteran in Hospice

Advocates for a Veteran in Hospice

When a Marine in hospice care made a request to be buried in dress blues, a cemetery worker at Louisiana National Cemetery willingly donated his own Marine uniform to fulfill the man’s wish.

The cemetery worker, Brett Moree, served in the Marine Corps for 20 years with four combat tours in Kosovo and Iraq under his belt, stating, “These are my brothers. To make sure they get the burial they deserve is just part of the calling.”

The initial request came to Glenn Blair, the executive director at Journey Hospice in Houma, Louisiana, whose staff* reached to neighboring facilities on behalf of the Marine in hospice – a Purple Heart recipient, father, and husband.

“As a hospice provider, it is our mission to provide dignity and comfort to our patients and Veterans. We will do everything in our power to accommodate our patients” Blair said.

Once the staff at Journey Hospice located the Marine dress uniform, Blair traveled two hours to the Louisiana National Cemetery to retrieve it from Moree. Upon arriving at Brett’s home, “Brett was extremely grateful to assist us. He said he was honored and privileged to help us.”

Unique partnerships develop frequently across VA on behalf of Veterans, through relationships with Veteran Service Organizations, community clinics as well as hospice organizations. These groups, among others, are essential advocates when providing multiple services to Veterans.

Blair has worked with several Department of Veterans Administration employees and is accustomed to the excellent service they provide. “The VA employees in the burial or honors facet of their job, have been of the most help. It’s been a wonderful experience working with them.”

As an active duty Marine, Moree coordinated military honors for over 80 Marine Corps funerals. He ensured that every Marine receive the traditional burial, with a flag presentation, firing detail, and Taps. While he considered a career in the civilian world, nothing stood out to him till he recalled how he made a difference in the lives of grieving family members. Since being at Louisiana National Cemetery, Moree noted, “I know I’ve made the right choice. Working at the cemetery is just another way I can serve.”

*Glenn Blair wanted to thank volunteers and the staff at Journey Hospice for their help - Jill Walker, Zac Cheramie, Joshua Luke, Silva Boyte, and Syble Adair. Journeyhospice

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