VITAS Unveils Veteran Wall at Senior Community in Hollywood, FL

November 14, 2023

HOLLYWOOD, FL—As the nation celebrated Veterans Day on November 11, two organizations teamed up to honor the valor and sacrifice of local heroes at a senior living community. Hospice provider VITAS Healthcare unveiled the Veterans Wall of Honor at Five Star Premier Residences of Hollywood, recognizing and supporting those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms.

A veteran with a certificate of appreciation in front of the Veterans Wall, flanked by two staff members

VITAS salutes U.S. Army Veteran Gus Gustafson, pictured with VITAS Chaplain Todd Hoover as “Uncle Sam” and Leslie Freeburg, Independent Living Resident Services Director for Five Star of Hollywood.

This VITAS veterans wall is a first-of-its-kind installation in Broward County, Florida, designed by the hospice provider which, for more than 40 years, has been entrusted with delivering compassionate end-of-life care to seriously ill patients and their families. The patriotic display recognizes up to 36 veteran residents from the senior living community in Hollywood. 

During a ceremony held on Wednesday, November 8, more than two dozen veterans were individually honored with a certificate, American flag pin and their headshot displayed on the wall.

  • Sam Biondollilo, U.S. Marines, 1956-1960
  • Franklin Bosia, U.S. Army, 1950-1954
  • Jerry Brams, U.S. Marines, 1949-1953
  • Anthony Buccarelli, U.S. Air Force, 1951-1954
  • Stanley Cohen, U.S. Navy, 1954-1956
  • George Djordjic, U.S. Army, 1955-1956
  • Jack Early, U.S. Navy, 1947-1950
  • Robert Gralicer, U.S. Army, 1953-1955
  • Francis Groselle, U.S. Navy, 1956-1957
  • Robert Grossberg, U.S. Army, 1955-1957 
  • Gus Gustafson, U.S. Army, 1953-1954
  • Jerry Kipperman, U.S. Army, 1951-1953
  • William Leeds, U.S. Air Force, 1951-1955
  • Helen Legothetis, U.S. Marines, 1961-1962
  • Alvin Lemberger, U.S. Army, […]
  • John Logan, U.S. Air Force, 1957-1988
  • John Longo, U.S. Army/Air Corp, 1944-1946 
  • Michael Martin, U.S. Air Force, 1950-1954
  • David Miller, U.S. Marines, 1952-1955
  • David Mitchell, U.S. Navy, 1941-1951
  • Rolando Olivera, U.S. Air Force, 1968-1972
  • Phillip Paul, U.S. Navy, 1944-1946
  • Leonard Pretty, U.S. Army, 1961-1964
  • James Renshaw, U.S. Air Force, 1961-1999
  • Mario Talucci, U.S. Army, 1938-1942
  • Marvin Waldman, U.S. Army, 1955-1957
  • Aaron Weg, U.S. Army, 1950-1954
  • Marty Zafman, U.S. Army, 1951-1953

“I want to thank you for bravely doing what you were called to do so we can safely do what we are free to do,” said Vladimir Sautier, executive director at Five Star, addressing the veterans. “Serving our nation is a debt that can never be repaid. Thank you for your bravery and for defending our freedom.”

Every day is Veterans Day at VITAS, according to Nancy Auster, RN, VITAS veteran liaison and U.S. Air Force veteran.

A veteran holds an American flag and a certificate of appreciation

VITAS salutes U.S. Army Veteran Aaron Weg, pictured with Leslie Freeburg of Five Star.

“This wall is a symbol of gratitude, respect and remembrance,” she said. “It proudly showcases the names and faces of veterans who have made profound contributions to our nation. Their stories, sacrifices and experiences are now etched into the collective memory of this community, creating a legacy for generations to come.”

This veterans wall is a small token of appreciation for those who have served our country in various capacities, be it in times of peace or during the heat of battle. The installation provides a platform for stories to be shared, heroes to be remembered and the bonds of camaraderie to be strengthened among its residents and visitors. It is a testament to the power of recognizing and celebrating the contributions of our nation’s heroes and ensuring that their stories live on in our hearts and minds.

In the face of their service and sacrifice, the VITAS Veterans Wall of Honor stands tall, urging us to reflect and honor the heroes who have made this nation what it is today. 

“On Veterans Day, and every day,” urges Auster, “as we gather to celebrate and pay tribute, let’s remember our collective debt to these extraordinary men and women and thank them for their service.”

The VITAS team poses in front of the Veterans Wall

VITAS Healthcare’s Broward County team unveiled its first Veteran Wall of Honor at Five Star in Hollywood during a ceremony held on November 8, 2023.

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