Saratoga Grove veterans honored in special chapel and men’s group meeting

DOWNER’S GROVE, Ill.—Saratoga Grove veterans honored in a chapel service led by Chaplain Heino Blaauw last Thursday commemorated Veteran’s Day.

a group of Saratoga Grove veterans honored, gather around a man and woman leading singing

Saratoga Grove veterans honored at a special Veteran’s Day chapel.

Throughout the service, which was attended by about 40 residents, the group sang patriotic hymns. Then those who could stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

One of the most striking moments came when Heino read the list of Saratoga Grove residents who were Veterans. A variety of veterans in attendance were acknowledged, including one woman who had been a medical volunteer at a VA hospital, and who received the Presidential Pin of Honor.

The group joined in a special Veteran’s Day prayer, which included these words:

An elderly man poses in a military hat with many pins; many Saratoga Grove veterans honored.

Andy, one of the Saratoga Grove veterans honored, shows the military hat and pins he earned for service.

“Lord, you have inspired many of best and brightest to proudly serve our beloved country. We gather today to remember our military personnel. We acknowledge that their service enables us to walk as free men and women in this land. Lord, today we seek to honor your sons and daughters who have served or who are serving our country.”

Heino then shared a passage from Proverbs and discussed what true love and sacrifice means.

At the men’s group meeting after chapel, several of the men from Saratoga Grove and Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Downer’s Grove came and shared stories of their military service.

Andy Medema showed off his military hat, with pins earned for service during World War II and his time with the American Legion. Frank DeVita shared about his work as a medic in England, France, Belgium, Norway, “but not Germany!” he said. Several other men shared their experiences serving in World War II and the Korean War.

Saratoga Grove veterans honored, join residents of Providence of Downers Grove also honored.

Bill Bolt had a particularly harrowing tale about his time in World War II. After being drafted and undergoing extensive training, he served in a unit in Iceland, then later went to England. He landed in Normandy on the 5th day after D-Day and saw the carnage of the battle. He received a purple heart for his service.

A group of Saratoga Grove veterans honored, gather around a table and eat doughnuts and discuss the military

The Men’s Group gathered and enjoyed doughnuts and beverages while discussing their military experience.

We are so proud of our veterans. Thank you for your service!

(A follow-up story about Bill Bolt will appear later in conjunction with the anniversary of D-Day.)

For more information on Saratoga Grove (independent living, assisted living, and memory care) go to

For more information on Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Downer’s Grove, go to

Saratoga Grove veterans were honored and prayed for: “Lord, today we seek to honor your sons and daughters who have served or who are serving our country.”–Prayer for Saratoga Grove veterans honored at chapel.