ProMedica Hospice serving North Central Illinois and Southern Wisconsin patient and World War II veteran, Annetta Lusiak, has lived a long and eventful life. Before her 105th birthday, the hospice team held a pinning ceremony to recognize Annetta for her service and also presented her with a special wooden plaque.
Meghan Wilinski, ProMedica Hospice senior account liaison, helped organize the pinning ceremony and birthday celebration for Annetta. She stated, “The ceremony was touching and brought tears to my eyes. Prior to Annetta receiving our hospice services, I had the opportunity to meet her and learn of her life and time in the military. After starting care with ProMedica, I learned her 105th birthday was coming up and I thought that there was no better time to honor and celebrate her.
I refrain from saying to the veterans that I meet that they ‘were’ part of a particular branch of service because I feel that time in their lives is always a part of them. This was very evident with Annetta, even many years after her active military service. Being a part of the Army at 105 years old is something she is very proud of, will speak to and is special to her. It was a privilege and honor to all of us to recognize this amazing veteran and community member."
Annetta received many awards and decorations for her service in the military, such as the World War II Victory Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the WAAC Service Ribbon and the American Service Medal. She served in the Women’s Army Corps from 1943 until her honorable discharge in 1945 and ended her Army career as a Corporal.
She was born in 1917 in rural Cumberland, Maryland among seven other brothers and sisters. She met her husband Eugene in the U.S Army when they both served during World War II. They were married for 60 years and had two children together.
Annetta’s family shared that her life is full of adventure, from traveling throughout most of the United States by car, plane or train, to a special trip to Ireland with her daughter. For her 80th birthday, she went for a hot air balloon ride! Annetta was known for always asking, “What are we doing for excitement?”, a question her family lives by. She always had a love for animals and had numerous pets over her lifetime and had recently befriended a therapy dog.
Jennifer had this to say after the birthday and military recognition event. "My Grammie has always been a very proud Army WAC veteran. From the time I was a young girl, Grammie has always enjoyed talking about her military experiences and sharing photos from that time. Five of her seven siblings served in various branches of the military and in World War II. Grammie was absolutely tickled pink with the special pinning ceremony that took place to honor her service. At 105, she's seen a lot, and she certainly still knows what it means to salute and can easily recount her stories and memories from the war. It's not every day that someone turns 105, and I’m so grateful that ProMedica Hospice was able to help her ring in a very special year in such an honorable and profoundly special way. The services ProMedica has provided to date have been a meaningful and reassuring way to supplement my Grammie's daily care. I greatly value that they are so attentive in helping to ensure she's comfortable and getting whatever ‘extras’ she may need and very much deserves."