FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Velma Newbauer holds her husband Jerome's memory close to her chest wherever she goes.
"This is my husband's thumbprint that I will wear around my neck and never forget him. This is my treasure," Newbauer explained.
Jerome was an army veteran who served in Vietnam.
Newbauer said he died in August from two types of pneumonia, a collapsed lung, and the of effects agent orange.
They were married for 27 years.
She’s thankful to the VA for taking care of him in his final moments.
"I had to be here in place of him and I am so honored to be here to represent him," Newbauer said.
Newbauer joined dozens of other vets and their families at a veteran ceremony to remember those, who like Jerome, served their country honorably.
"My heart feels so warm knowing I'm here with part of this. Their life was not easy serving for us all and helping our country to be free," Newbauer added.
Some of the veterans shared memories, some shared jokes.
Newbauer said the VA hospital was very helpful to her during that difficult time of her husband’s illness, and will never forget this day.
She said Jerome would have loved it if he were here, but in a way... he always is.