Ridgeview Institute honored veterans Thursday with a mini-parade through the various units. Patients cheered and presented homemade cards. 

Monroe – Staff and patients drew together Thursday at Ridgeview Institute to honor the hospital’s men and women who had previously served in the armed forces in light of Veterans Day. Patti Kenner, Frankie Dennis, Victor Jones & Randy Gilmore are all currently employed by Ridgeview in various departments and all served in a branch of the U.S. military. Between the four veterans, they have four of the five branches covered, with the exception of the U.S. Coastal Guard.

On Thursday, the quartet led a tiny parade through each floor of the mental health facility, with each unit decorated based on one of the branches of the armed forces. Patients cheered for the four veterans and some presented homemade cards to the honorees.

Afterward, Ridgeview CEO Heidi Hillery said the event was an important one for the mental health facility. “This is important to us, to celebrate our servicemen and servicewomen here at Ridgeview,” Hillery said.

The four admitted they were honored, even as they sought to claim the spotlight from fellow veterans in rival branches, a friendly rivalry that even led to them trying to steal one another’s comments.

Gilmore, a veteran of the U.S. Navy & chief nursing officer at Ridgeview, said he was impressed with the event.

“I think it’s a fantastic honor,” Gilmore said. “The patients did a lot for us”

Frankie Dennis, a former Marine who now works in food & nutrition at the hospital, agreed.

“We all appreciate it every time someone thanks us,” Dennis said.

Victor Jones, EVS supervisor and Army veterans said they were all glad to be honored, but even happier to have served.

“I’m proud to have served,” Jones said, “I see how important it is to this country.”

Kenner, nurse supervisor and U.S. Air Force veteran, said it was just a wonderful event and was glad to be honored alongside her fellow veterans “It’s really nice.” she said.