World War II Veteran Daniel B. Dillard served twenty years in the U.S. Army, raised a family, and took his last breaths, surrounded by a dedicated staff that cared for him, at the Dallas VA Medical Center, April 30, 2019.
Dillard’s wife and family gathered on Aug. 21 to honor him at the VA North Texas Heath Care System.
Shepherded by VA North Texas’ Chaplain Service, the Last Roll Call Remembrance program honors the lives and service of the Veterans, including the 80 other fellow Veterans who had passed in the last four months while patients there.
“We’re honored and Blessed”
“We’re honored and blessed to be able to provide this service for the families and friends who served through their support of our Veterans,” said Chaplain Tonia Hatchett, interim Chief of Chaplain Services.
During the service, staff and supporters read each Veteran’s name aloud. They also presented a red carnation to each family, accompanied by words of condolence and fellowship for the Veteran’s service. Tears flowed freely from an audience of over 300 family and friends. The ceremony also included personal devotions from VA North Texas leadership and the staff that provided care to the Veterans.
“It was an honor to care for your Veteran in their time of need,” said Eric Jacobsen, VA North Texas Assistant Director. “We sincerely hope that this ceremony brings some measure of comfort to you and your family.”
For the family of Daniel B. Dillard, the ceremony was a fond reminder of the man who selflessly served his country and was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend to many over his 94 years.
“We were married fifty-eight years–he is and will always be a part of me,” said Donnie Dillard. “We’re very grateful for all that VA did for him and all the Veterans.”
Photos and story by Michael Cole, Public Affairs Specialist with VA North Texas Health Care System