Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

Veterans Day Pinning Ceremony

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

In honor of Veterans Day, we have teamed up with IU Hospice along with New Hope Hospice, Southern Care Hospice,  and Vitas Hospice in partner with the We Honor Veterans Program to host a pinning ceremony to honor our nation’s heroes on Sunday, November 10th at 2:00 p.m. in the Crown Hill Memorial Chapel. Veterans are invited along with family and friends to attend. We are proud to have State Representative Karlee Macer and Brigadier General, USAF (Ret) J. Stewart Goodwin as our featured speakers.

The Meaning of the Pinning Ceremony:19233945/

A pinning ceremony is meant to acknowledge the service of the Veteran along with the sacrifices made by the Veteran and their family. The pinning ceremony not only honors the Veteran but their family members as well. The ceremony allows Veterans to share part of their story with others; a story that sometimes not even family members and close friends are aware of.

We hope all Veterans along with the families and friends will join us on Sunday, November 10th to take part in this moving ceremony. Following the ceremony, we will proceed to the Field of Valor and then regroup in the Crown Hill Celebration Hall for refreshments.

For more information about Crown Hill and IU Hospice’s Veterans Day Ceremony:


To learn more about We Honor Veterans:


National Volunteer Week: We Honor Veterans

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Volunteers Joe Bierce, Alan Droege and Al Kozimor.

This week is National Volunteer Week!  As many of you know, the Indianapolis community has some wonderful volunteers that make a huge impact.  In honor of this week, we would like to introduce you to IU Health Hospice and their amazing volunteers in the We Honor Veterans program.

We Honor Veterans is a national awareness campaign presented by the National Hospice  and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  One of the main goals of the campaign is to support successful and lasting VA-hospice relationships through Hospice-Veteran Partnerships.

Although the program has a number of great volunteers, three that are especially outstanding are Al Kozimor, Alan Droege and Joe Bierce.  All are former veterans and feel a connection to the patients they see. All three men also feel it is  a “calling” of them to serve others.

Al Kozimor served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He became involved with IU Health Hospice in 1996 as a respite volunteer. Respite volunteer means the volunteer provides relief to the caregiver.  He felt a calling to serve others after the loss of his mother. Al enjoys the patient contact aspect of volunteering and developing relationships with those in need.

One of his fondest memories is visiting with a patient who was a Korean War Vet.  The patient was bedridden, but one of his favorite things to do was to simply get out of the house, a luxury most of us take for granted. Although difficult, Al would help the patient into his wheelchair and then into a van. Al would then take him to get lunch or to the park. Although their time together was short, the patient developed a strong bond with Al and confided in him as a friend.

Alan Droege, served as a Sergeant in the Air Force. Alan became a volunteer with IU Health Hospice after retiring from Methodist Hospital where he worked as a radiologist for 40 years.  Alan had served in the Vietnam War as an X-ray Technologist in the Air Force.

Alan’s passion for volunteerism stems from his love of working with people. He enjoys working with the nurses who he is always learning from. He also enjoys traveling around Indianapolis and discovering parts of the City he had never known about. Not only does Alan provide relief to caregivers and companionship to his patients.  He also gives his patients haircuts and for the ladies…manicures!

Many Vets from the Korean War and the Vietnam War, they did not receive the recognition deserved for the brave service they did for their country.  Being a Vet of the Vietnam War, Alan knows this first hand.  Alan makes sure to tell every patient he has that has served in the Vietnam War or Korean War “Welcome Back Soldier or Airman.”

“You can see their face light up, because they never got that,” said Alan.

Joe Bierce served in the Army as a Specialist 5th Class.  Joe is now in his 27th year of being a volunteer at IU Health Hospice.  After losing several people close to him, Joe felt a disconnect between care providers and the family. When his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in the mid 80’s, Joe noticed a difference in the care at IU Health, at the time called Methodist Hospital.  Methodist Hospital was the site of the first in-house hospice in the state.  The doctors were more personable and the nurses made the family apart of the care his father received.  After the death of his father, Joe decided to become involved with IU Health Hospice.

Required to wait 1 year after the loss of a loved one, Joe took the 42 hour training in 1986 and has been volunteering ever since. He not only serves as a respite volunteer, but also works in the office, assists the nursing staff and serves as a facilitator for the Cancer Family Support Group.

No part of being a volunteer stands out as any less or any greater for Joe.  He enjoys interacting with people, being able to help assist families where nurses and physicians sometimes can’t and giving people joy.

“I’d like to think if someone only has a few days left, they were able to do some things they enjoyed,” said Joe.

One of the most moving acts these men perform as part of We Honor Veterans is a pinning ceremony.  In a pinning ceremony, a veteran pins another to publicly acknowledge the service and sacrifice made by the veteran and his or her family.  These can be very emotional ceremonies, as many of these men and women are quite ill.  At the end of the pinning the Veteran performing the service will salute the other.  Although many are ill, they will do everything in their power to salute back.

To learn more about IU Health Hospice visit:

To find out more about We Honor Veterans visit:



American Flag Retirement at Crown Hill

Friday, March 15th, 2013

When your flag is no longer worthy of display, please bring it to our funeral home.  We will cremate the flag with a Veteran.  It is a fitting tribute to Veterans and a patriotic way to “retire” aged flags.  There is no charge for this service.  Retired flags are accepted year round.





Memorial Day Banner to the Troops

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Thank you to all that signed the “We Support You” banner on Memorial Day.  The banner is on display at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan to remind the soldiers that those at home support them.

We would like to send a special thanks to Priority Press for donating the banner.


Memorial Day at Crown Hill Cemetery, 2012

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Photos of Armed Forces Day, Indianapolis 2012

Monday, June 4th, 2012



Memorial Day 2012

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Join Crown Hill Funeral Home, Cemetery, and Foundation for our 144th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony.    Major General R. Martin Umbarger, Adjutant General of Indiana will be featured as the Keynote Speaker.  The ceremony will also include Patriotic music,  Roll Call of Fallen Hoosier Heroes, Honor Guard 21-Gun Salute with Howitzer Cannons, Taps, and more.

Be sure to sign the Support Banner to send our troops serving in Afghanistan.  Crown Hill thanks Priority Press for their support in providing a banner for the Indianapolis community to send.

Schedule for Memorial Day / Monday, May 28th

  • 10:00 am: Civil War Encampment, Confederate Mound on Sec. 23 (follow the yellow line)
  • 12:45 pm: Civil War Memorial Service, Confederate Mound on Sec. 23
  • 1:30 pm: Band Concert performed by the Indiana Army National Guard’s 38th Division Band, Crown Hill National Cemetery (follow the white line)
  • 2:00 pm: Crown Hill’s 144th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony, Crown Hill National Cemetery

For more information click here.


The 6 Black Boxes | A Military Widow’s View

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The below article was originally posted on The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter… Military Widow to Military Widow. Thank you to Hello Grief for sharing.


6 boxes are all that is left of my husband. One filled with his socks, another with his uniforms, and another with every card or photo he had received. Three more contain his books, sheets, and other military effects.

I remember when the boxes arrived, I sat there so anxious to see what was left of my baby. Opening each one I had no clue what I would see. Cautiously, I lifted the lid of the hard black containers.

There are the cards I wrote him, there are the movies he’d watch every night, there are the photos of me he had hanging next to his bed………there is the only thing left of my husband’s existence while in Iraq.

I remember opening up his laptop to find an snapshot of me I never knew he liked. There was the bear that had the personal message I had recorded telling him I can’t wait to see him come home and be together again. There were all the things I had sent, all the memories on film we had captured, all the literature he adored reading, now with no reader.

I forgot all that he had accumulated over his 8 months over there. Due to that fact, many items were so heartwarming but always with an aftertaste of anger.

I remember going through his clothes and immediately putting them to my nose……detergent. ‘I’ll try another shirt or maybe his socks!’ …….detergent. The fact that they had washed all of his clothing made me so infuriated! Let me have one last breath of his smell. The smell I was unable to be without for 8 months…..and now forever.

Some of Michael’s things I pulled out right away, others are still sitting in those looming boxes sitting in my garage. Every now in then I’ll open them to get a small inhale from his pillow that they DIDN’T wash, or go for a search for some hidden letter he may have written in the case he would die.

I never found the letter, I never got my husband to come home, and all I am left with are our memories, a few items of meaning and………6 black boxes.


A Time to Honor and Remember

Friday, March 30th, 2012

IU Health Hospice and Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery will honor Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 19th at 2:00 in the afternoon.  We invite you to join us at Crown Hill Funeral Home’s Memorial Chapel.

Join us as we honor and support our country’s men and women in uniform; past and present in a special ceremony to acknowledge each veteran in attendance with a small token of our gratitude.

  • Brig. Gen. Stewart Goodwin, USAF (ret.), Executive Director, Indiana War Memorials will address the gathering on bahlf of the grateful citizens of Indiana.
  • Light refreshments will be served in Crown Hill Funeral Home’s Celebration Hall following service.
  • The conclusion of the service will be held at the Eternal Flame in the Field of Valor, rain or shine.  For those who wish to observe without moving ou to the cemetery, the reception area and patio will be open.

Click Here for event flyer.

Join us as we honor and support our country’s men and women in uniform; past and present in a special ceremony to acknowledge each veteran in attendance with a small token of our gratitude.


Remember a Vet

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The online funeral directory iMortuary is encouraging people to virtually share their support of Veterans.  Visit iMortuary to honor our Veterans for Memorial Day.

“Honor the service and sacrifice of Veterans by interacting with our virtual memorial wall. ‘I Remembered a Vet Today’ is an iMortuary way of honoring Veterans — by engaging with online individuals across the US. We also include a Share feature and Facebook badges you can download. Let’s get this to go viral in thanks Veterans and military families in advance of Memorial Day on May 30, 2011!! (Just a note that you won’t see any ads or paid promotions in this section!)”