Alliance, NE: Highland Park Veterans Celebration

The roar of a C-130 Hercules passing over Highland Park Care Center in Alliance was the high point of Veteran’s Recognition Day and the beginning of National Skilled Nursing Care Week events at the care center.

The theme for the 2018 National Skilled Nursing Care Week is “Celebrating Life’s Stories” and two team members from Highland Park Care Center, Dee Dee Behm and Brian Stephenson, came up with the idea to recognize the residents who are military veterans. It grew into a much larger panhandle-wide event when the Wyoming Air National Guard agreed to fly-over the facility.

It was an event filled day:

Representatives from the City of Alliance, Nebraska Veterans Cemetery and Box Butte County Veterans Service Office welcomed guests and made comments honoring veterans. Attendees were ushered outside to be welcomed by the Alliance High School drumline. American Legion representatives, led by Larry McCracken, performed military honors with a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.

American Legion Riders lined up in the front parking lot and stood at attention in honor of the veterans. The motorcycle enthusiasts voluntarily support veterans through fundraising, education and scholarship opportunities.

At precisely 10:15 the Air Force C-130 “Hercules” cargo plane flew over the crowd.  Community members also gathered at the nearby high school track to watch the large plane pass over their community. Social media was buzzing as many community members posted pictures and videos from their vantage points around town. During the event, Dee Dee conversed with the plane’s crew and they agreed to do a second run, much to the delight of the already enthusiastic crowd.

After the flyover, the Panhandle Public Health District hosted a Veteran Stand Down event at a location on West 3rd street. Participants included the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Veterans Upward Bound, Bellevue University, Team Rubicon USA and Nebraska Department of Labor all of which are available to assist veterans and their families with VA benefits, housing referrals, employment services, legal assistance and readjustment counseling.

Area senior care centers were invited to participate in the events at Highland Park Care Center, and residents from facilities as far away as Chadron attended.

Everyone at Highland Park Care Center would like to thank the many people who gave of their time and talents to make this day a memorable one for our cherished veterans and the entire community!

More on National Skilled Nursing Care Week

“Celebrating Life’s Stories” is the 2018 theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW), formerly known as National Nursing Home Week.  The theme pays homage to the diverse set of perspectives that residents, families and staff bring to everyday interactions. From May 13-19, 2018, centers will be encouraged to collect narratives on each individual’s most significant life events, relationships and experiences to cultivate a shared sense of purpose at the center and in the surrounding community. 

Established by the American Health Care Association in 1967, NSNCW recognizes the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.

Submitted by Brian Stephenson, Maintenance Coordinator

Highland Park Care Center, Alliance, NE