Memorial Day Weekend – Don’t Forget to Remember

bigstock/Igor Serdiuk

bigstock/Igor Serdiuk

As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, we all begin to make plans for our extended weekend. We start thinking about heading to the beach to kick off summer and planning family BBQs!  But…how often do we think about the real reason for this holiday?

Memorial Day is a day to remember all of the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom! It is a day to say thank you to our military defending our country today and to recognize our veterans for their dedicated service!

Here at The Protocall Group, we would like to recognize and thank a veteran, Fred Williams, a Behavioral Tech for our Philadelphia Healthcare Division who has been working for us since 2011.

Fred Williams, 1955

Fred Williams, 1955

Fred was in the U.S. ARMY in the Engineer Battalion from 1950-1957, he enrolled at the age of 17. He was stationed in Germany from 1951-1954, during this time he tried out for the basketball team and  was the first African American to make the team (at the time the barracks were still segregated) where he played at Walter Reed Hospital.

During his service, he traveled to Japan, Paris and Korea. He is now 83 years of age, still working, and enjoys every minute of it! He is loved by the staff at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital where he works patient transports through The Protocall Group.

One of Fred’s favorite things to do is write poems.

Robert Kautzman EdD., MS., RN, NEA-BC Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nurse Executive at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, sent us a wonderful note about Fred and included a poem Fred wrote.

An Inspiring Story…

Kautzman writes, “I met one of our companion aides and struck up a conversation with him today. His name is Fred Williams. In his role, working for one of our staffing agencies, The Protocall Group, as our companion aide, he accompanies patients as they are transported to their medical appointments outside Magee.

Fred has an interesting history. He worked in the mental health field for many years at several different facilities in the area. Additionally, although he has had his own physical health challenges over the years, I found him to be full of energy, displaying a positive attitude and spirit and just a delightful man.

Fred is 82. Yes, 82 years young! He retired twice over his lifetime and he just can’t help but put in some time at Magee helping our patients during their medical appointment van/paratransit rides. The most touching part of our conversation is when he reached in his knapsack and pulled out a copy of a poem he wrote based on his experiences thus far at Magee. He has shared this with a few staff, but I thought it was a powerful message and wanted to share it with all of you!”


Companion work is not all roses

Some days, you say “Holy Moses”

But if CAREGIVING is in your heart

That’s one feeling that will never part

Have strong patience, you want to know why?

Cause sometimes you have to have it for the other guy!

Be kind and gentle and always remember

This person could be my family member

So give it your all, go that extra mile

At the end of the day, enjoy that smile!

—-Fred Williams

Fred Williams_VeteranBlogClearly Fred Williams is a very special individual and we are privileged to have him as part of the Protocall team.  On this Memorial Day, we at The Protocall Group, sincerely thank you for your service to our country and your continued dedication to the people you serve each day!

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