ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital honors military veterans who pass away at the hospital with a moving ceremony called the Final Salute. With the family’s approval, the veteran’s flag-draped remains are escorted to the hospital lobby. Employees, medical staff physicians, volunteers and family members observe a moment of silence and render a Final Salute before the veteran’s body is delivered to a waiting funeral home vehicle.
Texas Health Arlington Memorial has honored more than 450 veterans with a Final Salute ceremony.
The hospital has conducted more than 450 Final Salute observances since the tradition began on Veterans Day 2015. On March 4, the hospital made the recognition permanent. Volunteers who served in the military unveiled a specially designed medallion placed in the lobby floor at the location where the Final Salute is rendered.
“It means a lot to us to recognize military veterans when they die,” said Chaplain Jim Dorsey, the hospital’s director of pastoral care who started the program with the help of the Final Salute Committee. “The medallion represents every service member who has served with honor, especially those who have reached the end of life at our hospital.”
The medallion was designed by Brayden Edmond, a graphic design student at Texas A&M University. His father, Blake Edmond, R.N., a nurse manager at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, is an Army veteran, and his mother served in the Air Force.
“Most Texas Health hospitals have implemented the Final Salute program. I’ve also talked with hospitals around the country that are interested in honoring their veteran patients with a similar program,” Dorsey said.
“We profoundly believe that no veteran should go out the back door of our hospital when he or she passes. They’ll always go out the front door with dignity and respect.”
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.