AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - On this Veteran's Day, we introduce you to one man who has made it his mission to give Maine veterans the honor and care they deserve, especially in their final days.
Every patient at Togus VA's hospice is a veteran - but just one person serving on the staff is.
Bill Layman says, "I think it's maybe a little bit easier for me to make a connection... We learn to trust each other."
Layman is a Vietnam veteran and hospice CNA - and his patients will tell you he's one of the best.
Bill can tell his patients more than their blood pressure...
In his short time taking care of Bud Cook - he's learned his life story.. How Cook served in World War II, was a car salesman, and was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
Caring for these veterans is his passion. And he puts so much into his job - you'd think it was his life's work. But he's only been a CNA for a few years. He had a career as a schoolteacher.
Layman says, " that's an interesting story. Eight years ago I lost my wife to colon cancer. And while she was sick, she got a lot of help from hospice people and from nurses. "
To give back to those caretakers - he became one himself.
Like teaching - he gets his satisfaction from helping others, and forming relationships. But in this job - he's learning how hard it can be to, so often, say good bye.
But he also sees patients who's health improves - and they find peace with themselves.
Caring for his comrades... he's found himself serving in a whole new way.