Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An everyday hero that helps US Veterans in their last moments...sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference.

After years of serving their country, members of America's military can receive care from nurses and doctors at St. Petersburg's Bay Pines Veterans' Hospital.
When the end comes to a soldier's, Marine's, airman or sailor's life, one volunteer stands out like no other.
Chuck Mirasola started volunteering at the facility in 1995.
About eight years ago, the 71-year-old Army veteran felt a calling to the Hospice unit there.


"I found out I could make a difference. When someone comes to Hospice they are scared. That is normal. Everyone is scared. Just by sitting and listening to what they have to say, it means a lot to them and their families," he said.
In one of the unit's hallways, someone created a wall of footprints.
When a veteran passes, his name and dates are entered on a new footprint.
On the day Nine's Everyday Heroes talked to Chuck, a WWII Marine who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, received his footprint.
"We don't want to see anybody die alone. We have volunteers that come around the clock just to sit with that person. It's just something that we do," he said.
The National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals honored Chuck with an award in November.
"People tell me I make a difference and that keeps me coming back. There is someone who has a story to tell or just needs somebody to be by his side as he goes," he said.