Talmadge Wideman was born on Christmas Day in 1925. Lying on a bed at Hospice and Palliative Care of the Piedmont, the World War II Army veteran is at the end of his life.
His family knows this, and the hospice and a veterans group wanted to make sure Wideman was properly honored for his service to the country.
Veteran’s Last Patrol members joined hospice staff and Wideman family members in his room Friday night for a short ceremony to honor the 95-year-old.
The veterans presented to Wideman and his family thank-you cards from people all across the country, a certificate of appreciation, a patriotic quilt and a letter from U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan.
Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Coordinator Darius James read from Duncan’s letter to Wideman.
“As a veteran of the United States Army during World War II, and thereby a member of the Greatest Generation, you understand very well the importance of commitment, duty and patriotism,” Duncan wrote. “Fellow citizens always will owe you their respect and gratitude.”
Wideman, who served in Army transportation for three years during the war, is a member of VFW Post 5932 in Clinton. His sister, Clara Young, is president of the post’s ladies auxiliary.
“It’s a great honor,” Young said. “It means a great deal to us. Everybody knew he was a good boy. He attended church every Sunday. He loved baseball. He used to play baseball.”
James was grateful to be a part of the ceremony.
“He’s served our country, and for this organization to take the time to recognize him says a lot of good about where we are as a nation, in spite of anything else we might see,” James said.
Nancy Corley, CEO and president of Hospice and Palliative Care of the Piedmont, wanted to be part of the ceremony because, she said, “Many times veterans have been reluctant to accept the recognition that they deserve for their service to the country. When these folks are nearing the end of their life, it just gives us that opportunity to acknowledge them and honor them for what they’ve done for their country.”