• Veteran Volunteer Says Sharing Stories is a Great Way to Connect

    July 13, 2021 | Blog
  • Bill KrueperParadigm Health hospice volunteer Bill Krueper retired from the Navy in early 2020 after 20 years of service. He’s spent his entire career collaborating and working alongside many throughout those two decades dedicated to serving his country and others.  

    “I had the honor of working with some of the most dedicated men and women our country has to offer,” says Krueper. “We were from all types of backgrounds, and always figured out a way to accomplish the mission together.”   

    Krueper shares he was lucky to have a varied career where he was able to fly planes, work on aircraft carriers, was deployed to Iraq, and near the end of his career served as an instructor at a U.S. Department of Defense school. After retirement, Krueper moved back to Indiana but knew he still wanted to be involved in some way by serving others and helping his community. 

    “I was searching for job and volunteer opportunities and saw a posting for a veteran volunteer with Paradigm Health,” Krueper shares. “Finding this opportunity came at a great time coming out of the pandemic and I felt that veterans and/or the elderly could use some interaction, especially after this difficult and sometimes isolating year.” 

    Rockea Bell, Paradigm Health’s volunteer coordinator connects Krueper with hospice patients and he has been able to visit in person again now that COVID vaccinations are more prevalent, and restrictions are lifting.  

    “It’s really just taking the time to communicate, share stories, and have a good time while taking our minds off of any nonsense going on around us,” says Krueper. “I’m positive the time spent as a volunteer helps me as much as it does them. They enjoy sharing their stories or those of family members and I try to add in some stories about my own life to show how similar we all really are.” 

    At first, Krueper says, he wasn’t sure of the time commitment volunteering would require, but the time spent, he confirms, is up to him with no pressure. 

    “Anyone can bring a smile to another’s face, nothing particular about me that does that part,” Krueper says. “We all value our time, especially as we get older or are faced with serious illness and perhaps end of life. So, sharing some of that valuable time with another person goes a long way. I encourage anyone to give it a try.”