Karen Straw, Patient Relations Coordinator at Summit Home Health & Hospice, paid tribute to Jerome Gourley at the HVCC luncheon meeting held on June 17, 2021. Ms. Straw introduced Gourley by saying, “He has a tender heart, as most of us do, for our veterans.”
Lt. Col. Jerome Gourley, U.S. Army Ret., is the Hospice Chaplain for Summit Home Health and Hospice and also a Gold Star father.
On Feb. 22, 2006, his son, 38-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Gregson Gourley, was killed in Hawijah, Iraq about 150 miles north of Baghdad when a roadside bomb detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations.
“The death of a son is one of the hardest things to endure,” Gourley said. To him, it seems like yesterday that his wife called and asked him to come home from a doctor’s appointment. “When I got there the chaplain brought the bad news, not only to our family, but three others,” he said.
Also killed in the roadside bombing was Sgt. Rickey Jones, Pfc. Christopher Marion and Pfc. Allan Morr.
Gourley went on to say, “That was a tough day. It’s still emotional to think about it.”
To honor veterans who are on hospice service with Summit Home Health and Hospice, Gourley established a military tribute for dying veterans BEFORE they pass. The tribute provides a way for families of veterans to celebrate together prior to the death of their loved one.
“The honorary tribute has provided many wonderful experiences and memories for family members. Each tribute is unique to that person and family and is a wonderful way to honor their service,” added Ms. Straw.
If you’re a veteran, be proud of your service and your legacy. And if you know a vet, take a moment to say thanks for their sacrifice. As Americans we all owe a debt to the military veterans who have made it possible for our way of life to endure. And to Jerome Gourley, a heartfelt thank you for your service to our veterans and our country.