Jack Pittman, Reflection on the Power of Music for a Distinguished Veteran


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The Music and Medal Unite

Our Hospice Spotlight Volunteer Reflections are shared frequently. Reflections are stories of connection and meaning, presented in the volunteer’s own words. Here is Jack Pittman’s Reflection.

Moved by Music

“I have been very surprised by the impact and importance of music upon my patients with dementia. We had music therapist (although not all families or veterans embrace this service) but when they are open to the therapy, it is absolutely remarkable. We had one veteran who served in World War II. As a marine fighter pilot, he won a Distinguished Flying Cross, which is like the four ties medal many services (the fourth highest medal for valor).

He had the night shift. His two daughters were his caregivers and they kept trying to get him to pay attention to what was going on. You could tell his eyes were wondering, they weren’t focused. At the very end of the valor ceremony, we began singing the Veteran’s Service Song. In this case we sang the Marine Corps Hymn, he sat up straight–at attention, and he sang every single word with the team.

Every single word.”

Author: Mary York

Mary is a volunteer for Hosparus of Louisville and the Founder of the Windows Within Project.

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