East Tennessee Medical Group physician Dr. W. David Vines, a family practice doctor, recently served as the volunteer physician for an HonorAir Knoxville flight to Washington, D.C. The program transports World War II veterans to several of the war memorials in the Washington, D.C. area. The one-day trips include a volunteer physician to provide medical assistance as needed to the sponsored veterans. The HonorAir Knoxville program is sponsored by Prestige Cleaners in partnership with the Rotary Foundation of Knoxville.
Vines’ role was to give medical aid to the elderly veterans, but he also found himself on the receiving end of several unexpected blessings.
“I heard some amazing stories of sacrifice and realized how much this ‘Greatest Generation’ really gave for their country,” Vines said.
“Two of my patients, Durward Swanson and Calvin Willocks, happened to be on the trip, and I enjoyed getting to talk to them and listen to their stories from the war,” he added. “I see patients every day as a physician, but to learn another aspect of them, to see another side to their life, was a very complete and enriching thing for me. It was fascinating to hear about the adventures they’d been through. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in that respect.”
The veterans had an impressive send-off as they flew out of Knoxville, cheered on by local politicians and supporters. The fire department at McGhee Tyson Airport arranged a departing ceremonial water shower for the plane as it taxied out to the runway.
Upon arrival at Reagan National Airport, several hundred people cheered for the veterans as debarked. Police escorts led the group’s buses to several of the monuments, including the World War II Memorial, the Air Force Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Vines treated four veterans for minor falls during the day. He was aided by two medics from the Air National Guard who were on the trip.
Upon its return to Knoxville later that day, the flight was greeted with a ceremony intended to re-enact the actual return from the war. Family and friends waved signs and banners, and the University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Marching Band met the veterans with a rousing welcome.
Sixteen million Americans served in World War II, and each year, approximately 1,200 of them die. HonorAir Knoxville’s goal is to fly as many East Tennessee World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., as possible.
Vines hopes to continue working with HonorAir in the future.
“This was the first HonorAir trip I have ever been on, and to be honest, I was impressed from start to finish,” Vines said. “It was a first-class trip and a great way to honor these military veterans who have given so much to their country and their communities. I would love to take part in this trip again.”
Blount Memorial names new PR/Marketing Director
Has photo (Bounds)
Jennie Bounds has been named the public relations and marketing director at Blount Memorial Hospital. She will be responsible for overseeing the hospital’s corporate identity and communication strategies with both internal and external audiences, while building and enhancing relationships with community and health-related partners.
Bounds holds a bachelor of science degree in communications from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Most recently, she has served as public relations manager for Blount Memorial, a position she has held since 2005. She also served as the public relations and marketing assistant for the hospital from 2003 until 2005.
Bounds currently sits on the board of directors for the Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross and is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Alcoa. She has won Awards of Excellence, Quality and Merit from the Public Relations Society of America as well as Prism and Citation awards from the Tennessee Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations.