WWII Veteran Volunteers to Honor Iowa Veterans in Hospice

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MOUNT AYR, Iowa — Though Veterans Day was last week, a nursing home in Mount Ayr held a veterans recognition for two area residents. One veteran is still volunteering, even though he served in World War II.

At Mount Ayr Health Care Center, Air Force veteran Richard McMeins, a patient with EveryStep Hospice, received a pin and a framed award for his service.

Ila McMeins said if her husband could, he would no doubt being saying "thank you" for this recognition.

“Married for 70 years. He’s been a wonderful husband the whole time. He’s taken care of me and three kids,” said McMeins.

The award was presented by Donald “Jake” Dailey, a 97-year-old World War II veteran who has been presenting these veteran awards to some 119 area veterans who are in hospice.

“It’s just something that we do. The hospice people got me started. I feel obligated, and I always enjoy it,” said Dailey. “My wife had cancer. She passed away in 2009. After I stayed home for a year, I decided it was payback time, so I went to be a volunteer for hospice.”

“He sits down with the patients, he talks with them sometimes, they hold hands,” said Angie Dodge of EveryStep Hospice. “He gets them to talk about their service. He thanks them for their service.”

Dailey moved around the room greeting the people.

“Jake is a legend. He’s quite an ambassador for us, and everybody knows Jake in this county,” said Dodge.

“The sacrifices veterans made, especially the ones that didn’t come home, that’s the ones we always think about and remember,” said Dailey. “It’s an honor to wear the uniform of this country.”

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