bob and friend posing in front of a house
Bob’s Story

Bob Dehart and Dave Cummings share a special bond. As Navy servicemen during the 1960s, they experienced the mixed bag of emotions that comes from enlisting.


Dubbing themselves “tin canners,” they faced the unknown and uncertainty of conflict and quickly learned the value of responsibility and respect.


“You did what you were told,” said Bob, looking at Dave, who is already nodding his head in agreement.


The two met unexpectedly a couple years ago on a Saturday night when the Evansdale AMVETS were having one of their Steak Nights. “Bob called up and asked, ‘Do you deliver?’” said Dave. “So I took him over a T-bone.”


Since then, they would chat a number of times…or at least when Bob ordered a steak. So when the opportunity presented itself that Bob could use some company from a Cedar Valley Hospice volunteer, Dave was the perfect fit.


As partners of the We Honor Veterans program, Cedar Valley Hospice helps connect patients who are vets with like comrades. For Dave, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping fellow veterans.


“I’m glad I can make them feel comforted and pay it forward,” Dave added.


Since Bob came onto the hospice program, the two have met every other week or so. They talk, play cards, listen to music or whatever Bob wants to do. On a recent afternoon, the two sat at the table chatting and Bob asked to share something that both he and Dave enjoyed together. Bob found a CD and pressed play and said, “This is great.” Again, Dave’s head nods in agreement.


It was a true short story called, Deck of Cards by Tex Ritter. It began, “….Friends, this is a story about a soldier boy and a deck of cards. During a North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike, and they arrived in a little town called Casino…”


Ultimately, it was an inspirational story about a group of soldiers which had an unexpected ending…one most would appreciate, but even more meaningful to those two veterans sitting together at the table listening to it.


“He’s like a lifeline for me,” said Bob. “When we talk, we understand each other… We have so much in common – it takes my mind off everyday problems.”


Bob came onto the Cedar Valley Hospice program approximately one year ago because his health was causing more visits to the hospital.


“Cedar Valley Hospice has been like a Godsend,” said Bob. “They handle all my health concerns at my home, do light housekeeping or baths, whatever I need.”


Since coming onto the program, Bob’s spirits have improved – giving him more time to focus on how he can further his philanthropy to the Evansdale AMVETS, which he became a member of after he and Dave met.


“Having Dave visit has made all the difference,” added Bob. “I relate to him, we have a good laugh and he helps me feel better in the best way I can. For that, I’m grateful.”

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