DORR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — This Memorial Day weekend, the country will once again pause to honor those who have served.
August Joseph Steffes, 88, known to his friends and family as Junior, was honored Wednesday in a pinning ceremony in Dorr Township in Allegan County.
Steffes served in the U.S. Navy on the 1950s aboard the destroyer USS Kidd out of Louisiana.
“It’s really important that these stories don’t get lost, so to take the time to engage with our veterans, to learn their stories, what motivated them to join, what they remember and what they took away,” Matt Schipper, director of support services or Emmanuel Hospice, said. “And to just give them the opportunity to share that with both us as an organization and the friends and family that are part of their day to day lives.”
Emmanuel Hospice hosted the event. It offers a pinning ceremony to all the veterans it serves.
Steffes’ family wanted to make an event of it, inviting all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Along with a special veteran pin, Steffes also received a certificate recognizing his Navy service and a star from a retired American flag.
“It’s really a privilege just what we are able to do as a hospice organization, to walk alongside people in the most sacred parts of their life and this is one of the things that gives us all a smile in our job. And it gives us stamina to keep doing what we do because there is difficulty along the way but there’s also great opportunities to celebrate life and this is one of them,” said David Veldt, a spiritual caregiver and education liaison for Emmanuel Hospice.
The ceremony was even more special because it took place in Steffes’ hometown of Dorr.