Lifelong Rippey veteran to be honored July 4 by HCI Hospice Care Services

Eugene Muir, left, of rural Rippey and his wife of 50 years, Iva Jo Muir, received more than 20 visitors Monday when Eugene Muir was honored for his military service in the U.S. Army. Photo courtesy HCI

RIPPEY – Lifelong Rippey resident and U.S. Army veteran Eugene Muir, 83, was honored July 4 for his military service in Korea by his hospice provider, HCI Hospice Care Services.

The ceremony was held in Muir’s rural home at 2430 U Ave. and included the Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer of thanks, the awarding of a Veteran service flag pin, the singing of “God Bless America,” a reading of “What is a Veteran” and the presentation of a certificate of recognition.

The celebration began with the hospice team’s return from walking in Perry’s Fourth of July parade. About 20 attendees honored Mr. Muir with their presence and thanked him for his service to his country.

Eugene Muir of rural Rippey served as a cook in the U.S. Army.
Eugene Muir of rural Rippey served as a cook in the U.S. Army. Photo courtesy Eugene Muir

Muir served in the U.S. Army as military cook. Upon learning that wife, Iva Jo Muir, was expecting, he had his overseas deployment deferred and was sent to Washington D.C.

Recalling those days, Muir said that while stationed in the nation’s capitol, he cooked in an officers’ training camp, where they served meals “fine-dining style,” complete with white linen and fine china.

Muir also said he did a lot of baking and became an expert at making fresh cinnamon rolls. Iva Jo and the baby moved to Washington D.C. to live with Eugene in in a 27-foot trailer home with no bath.

“There was enough room for a baby crib between our bed and the wall,” Iva Jo Muir said. “It wasn’t a lot, but it was home.”

The family spent 14 months there before returning to Iowa, where they eventually welcomed two more children. Upon his return, Muir farmed his family’s land in Rippey until a few years ago, when one of his sons took over operations.

Outside of his time in the U.S. Army, Muir has lived his whole live within a three-mile radius of his family’s farm. The Muirs have been married for more than 50 years and have six grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.

HCI Hospice Care Services is committed to honoring its patients who are veterans for their service to the nation through ceremonies like Muir’s. The effort is part of its continued program of ensuring veterans receive specialized care at end-of-life.

These efforts also include a Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer program. HCI Hospice Care Services’ Veteran-to-Veteran Program pairs veterans who are hospice volunteers with patients who have served the nation.

Veteran Partners provide companionship while talking, reading and sitting with patients. Sometimes veterans feel most comfortable sharing their experiences with fellow veterans. Veterans have a unique skill set which can help patients come to terms with past events and find peace.

For more information about care or volunteer opportunities for veterans, contact HCI Hospice Care Services at 515-462-5205 or visit their website.

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