Veterans honored at Bon Secours

Published 10:34 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

A group of Bon Secours staff and veterans alike gathered on the grounds at the hospital’s Harbour View campus on Friday to honor those who had served for Veterans Day. Several of the hospital staff on hand were also veterans.

This marked the third or fourth year the hospital has held the ceremony, according to Valerie Sommer, director of nursing at the campus.

“It’s important to us to recognize those who made sacrifices,” said Lynne Zultanky, the hospital’s administrative director of public relations.

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Amanda Ortman, security officer at the campus, had the duty of raising the flag located in front of one of the campus buildings.

“It was special that I got to be a part of the ceremony,” she said. “I was honored to be a part of something to honor the veterans that were here and gone.”

Marie Gibson, an emergency room registered nurse at the hospital and a U.S. Army National Guard veteran, sang and also handled the wreath with fellow colleague, radiology manager William Long.

“I take a lot of pride in being an American,” Gibson said. “It makes me proud to watch the flag go up, to know it stands for something and I fought to keep it standing.”

Sommer, who is married to a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, gave remarks and stressed the importance of the holiday.

“We often talk about the 1 percent, but I talked about the 7 percent,” she said, referring to the percentage of people who serve in the armed forces.

“There was a lot of cheering and waving of flags — it was a good feeling.”

Zultanky said a number of veterans who work at the hospital adapts well to its organizational structure. Gibson said about 15 percent of her emergency room staff have worn the uniform.

“Bon Secours gives you that family feel,” Gibson said.

“It was such an easy transition,” Long said, a 25-year U.S. Navy veteran. “This is home.”