Veteran on quest to ensure old soldiers don’t die alone

Death used to bother Don Ottomeyer. As a young officer in the U.S. Army during the 1970s, he saw too much of it. Now, more than 30 years after he left the military, he seeks out the dying.
For the past 25 years, Ottomeyer has volunteered in hospice centers in North Carolina, Idaho and Michigan, the latter where he has lived in Ann Arbor since 2007. Every week he encounters the sick and the dying, all of them military veterans.
“I don’t think any veteran should die alone,” he said.
By his count, he has stood watch as more than 100 veterans took their final steps in life. Each year, his load increases.

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Photo: Courtesy Don Ottomeyer

Veteran on quest to ensure old soldiers don’t die alone

Death used to bother Don Ottomeyer. As a young officer in the U.S. Army during the 1970s, he saw too much of it. Now, more than 30 years after he left the military, he seeks out the dying.

For the past 25 years, Ottomeyer has volunteered in hospice centers in North Carolina, Idaho and Michigan, the latter where he has lived in Ann Arbor since 2007. Every week he encounters the sick and the dying, all of them military veterans.

“I don’t think any veteran should die alone,” he said.

By his count, he has stood watch as more than 100 veterans took their final steps in life. Each year, his load increases.

Read more

Photo: Courtesy Don Ottomeyer