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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Salute, lobster meal part of 76-year-old’s ‘Gift of a Day’

Dayton Daily News

By Mark Gokavi, Staff Writer

TROTWOOD — This was the military career send-off Frances Greene deserved.

The 1952 Dunbar High School graduate and 30-year Air Force veteran was honored with her “Gift of a Day” on Feb. 10 at Friendship Village.

“Thank you all for being here, I love you all,” Greene told the friends and family who came to honor her. “Thank you for coming out in this weather to see an old lady like me.”

Greene, 76, suffers from dementia, according to family members.

The initiative is part of Crossroads Hospice’s program to honor its patients with end-of-life celebrations, events or ceremonies. They can be simple meals or attending events or something elaborate such as a performance by a Frank Sinatra impersonator.

Volunteer coordinator Michael Sanders said patients are asked, “If you only had one day to live, what would it look like?” For Greene, who retired as a lieutenant colonel, her day involved a lobster meal and being honored for her three decades as a military nurse.

Greene’s day included the national anthem; the pledge of allegiance; a letter from Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown honoring her during Black History Month; a patriotic poem; a pin honoring her military service; a plaque; and a salute.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base personnel attending included Col. Sandra Tynes, Maj. Jason Ekberg, Maj. Jennifer Lovato, Maj. Katrina Terry and ROTC Cadet Juliana Nine.

Though details of Greene’s service were not readily available, the emotions of gratitude were obvious. Tynes teared up when talking about the importance of military service from black women such as Greene.

“Probably during the time she was serving, she probably faced a lot of challenges,” said Tynes, who also is black. “For that, I’m truly grateful for those sacrifices she made, because it truly paved the way for myself and other people.


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