Our Shining Star – Veteran Volunteer, Gil Calac 

Gil has volunteered on a weekly basis for our hospice patients since 2012.  He helps us provide better patient care for our Native American residents. Gil is from the Paiute tribe and helps us recognize and better understand the differences between and within our Native American tribes and the veterans we serve.

He accomplishes this by providing annual staff trainings on working with veterans and with Native Americans for our hospice, palliative care and home health teams.  He also serves on our We Honor Veterans committee, which meets monthly.

Helping patients navigate the Veterans Administration system, Gill was instrumental in gaining recognition for his fellow Vietnam soldiers by assisting in the passage of Washington State House Bill 1319, and in 2013 establishing March 30 as the official Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.  All state and local public entities are required to fly the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag at their main building. Gil stated, “… this will help put away our guilt, shame, the grief and despair, and heal from the animosity veterans faced when they returned home.”

This story was shared by Julie Cicero, Manager, Palliative Care, Compass Care

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