Summit Place of DI pays tribute to veterans, past and present
On Friday, May 10 residents gathered to honor veterans in a dog tag ceremony and veterans cafe at Summit Place of Daniel Island. The veterans’ cafe was an opportunity to meet other veterans, share stories, and indulge in some light refreshments. The veterans’ cafe and dog tag ceremony centered on paying respect to those, past and present, who served in the military.
In recent months several veterans at Daniel Island’s first senior living facility have passed or relocated. So when Summit Place’s Lifestyles 360 Director, Amy Kovach, was approached by Lindsey Asarch of Caris Healthcare about having a veteran cafe, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to celebrate local heroes.
“Hosting in the month of May, which honors Confederate Memorial Day on May 10 and United States Memorial Day on May 27, to honor the men and women who died while serving in the military, seemed like a nice connection,” Kovach said.
Summit Place of Daniel Island has a Veterans Honor Wall that displays photos and dog tags of the residents who served in the military. When a veteran resident passes away, the dog tags and photos are presented to family members.
“We try to make it a moment of remembrance to honor the service of the veteran and to remember them as we knew them as residents. Combining the veteran cafe with our Veteran Dog Tag Ceremony to honor our recently deceased veterans was a good opportunity to combine our efforts,” explained Kovach.
Asarch is the volunteer coordinator of a program that not only honors veterans but provides senior communities with access to much-needed resources. “Today was a way to spread awareness and show veterans they’re appreciated. It was also an opportunity to introduce available benefits they might not be aware of,” said Asarch.
Summit Place Maintenance Director and veteran Daniel Gordon stressed the importance of participating in the event. “We have men and women who serve our country, who are willing to lay down their lives to defend our constitution …This is the reason why we do this, so they will not be forgotten.”
Fellow veteran Nepty Jones served for 30 years in the United States Navy before retiring. He also wanted to acknowledge those who served. “This day is very important. It’s a way to show appreciation for what these people on the wall, our brothers and sisters, have done for us.”
Summit Place resident Wilfred Steplight served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War as an Airmen First Class. Steplight was grateful to be recognized at the ceremony. “I appreciate this, particularly in my case, because for whatever reason, you rarely hear about the Korean War,” he said. “The Korean War is not mentioned as much as the other wars.” Steplight added, “I think we need to emphasize all the wars in our educational system, so no one will ever forget about any war.”
Summit Place of Daniel Island will host another veteran cafe in November on Veterans Day.