RECOGNIZING THE DREAM FOUNDATION'S ``DREAMS FOR VETERANS'' PROGRAM AND MR. GEORGE ``RAY'' WEST; Congressional Record Vol. 161, No. 168
(Extensions of Remarks - November 16, 2015)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1621]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




RECOGNIZING THE DREAM FOUNDATION'S ``DREAMS FOR VETERANS'' PROGRAM AND 
                        MR. GEORGE ``RAY'' WEST

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. LOIS CAPPS

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, November 16, 2015

  Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the Dream 
Foundation's new ``Dreams for Veterans'' program. As we pause to 
commemorate Veterans Day, I would like to acknowledge their unique and 
invaluable service to terminally-ill military veterans.
   Dreams for Veterans is dedicated to serving terminally-ill veterans 
during their time of greatest need. They are the first national program 
specifically serving and honoring these individuals by fulfilling their 
final dream. Over the past year, Dreams for Veterans granted more than 
100 dreams to veterans and are on track to double that number this 
year.
   This spring, the Dream Foundation, which is based in my 
Congressional district, helped my constituent George ``Ray'' West 
realize his final dream of traveling with his family to Yosemite 
National Park. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. West at the ``Dreams 
for Veterans'' inaugural ceremony in Washington, DC earlier this year.
  Mr. West is a U.S. Navy Veteran who served between 1944 and 1946. He 
was stationed first in Sampson, NY and later in Utah and Nevada. He 
eventually settled with his family in my hometown of Santa Barbara, CA.
   Mr. West and his wife Jean first visited Yosemite on their honeymoon 
in 1950. The couple loved Yosemite so much that they have celebrated 
each anniversary by returning to the park. Ray had been diagnosed with 
heart disease and leukemia when he contacted the Dream Foundation to 
help his family travel to Yosemite at least one final time.
   Each day, more than 1,800 of our nation's heroes die, accounting for 
nearly one-quarter of all American deaths. In addition to giving dream 
recipients and their families the opportunity to make the most of the 
time they have left, a final dream also improves their end of life care 
by addressing the emotional and psychological needs of terminally ill 
patients and those of their loved ones and caretakers.
  The Dreams for Veterans program allows recipients the opportunity to 
reconnect with their former military service and provides a unique 
chance to reconcile memories and achieve a sense of closure. This one-
of-a-kind program engages the military community by providing 
opportunities to refer applicants, contribute resources, or volunteer 
as Veteran Dream Hosts--volunteers who participate in Veteran-to-
Veteran Dream deliveries.
  The Dream Foundation is a leader in our community and has touched and 
inspired so many during its 21-year history of delivering final dreams 
to terminally ill adults. They fulfill more than 2,500 final dreams 
every year, working with hundreds of volunteers and more than 600 
hospices and health care organizations nationwide.

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