BURLINGTON, N.C. – On Friday, an aging World War II veteran in hospice care was honored for his military service. Family and friends surrounded 91-year-old David Jones for the celebration. Though his dementia is worsening and memory fading - it's moments like these that bring him back.
World War II veterans make up just about two percent of all the vets in North Carolina, and that number is getting smaller by the day. But a group called We Honor Veterans is trying to make sure even the last days have meaning.
Jones, a Navy veteran, can't exactly tell you what he did back in World War II. But he used to - a lot.
“He always talked about it. Always, our whole lives,” said his daughter, Annette Jones, “He was a very proud, proud man.”
Recently, things have changed. Now, diagnosed with dementia & in hospice care, it's becoming harder and harder for him to remember.
Friday’s ‘We Honor Veterans’ celebration was to honor his service and invite family to do the same. It was as much for his family as it was for him.
“It means a lot to me because I know what this man went through,” said Annette.
They recalled his war stories: about his time on battleships as a tailor & cook during the four years he was enlisted. And, they recalled his other, post-war stories, which just as compelling.
Despite the setbacks - there are certain things that just don't fade away – like Jones’ favorite song: Amazing Grace. Another thing he know for sure – that love is all around him.
The celebration for him was one of three this year, according to Alamance County hospice workers. As part of the ‘We Honor Veterans’ cause, when people come into their care, they find out if the patient was a veteran and honor them accordingly.