By Hans Petersen
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
V is for Veterans, Volunteers and Valentines
Every February, VA throws a party for the more than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. armed services who are cared for every day in VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, domiciliaries, and nursing homes.
It’s National Salute to Veteran Patients Week and it’s your opportunity to say thank you to this special group of men and women.
The week’s activities pay tribute and express appreciation to Veterans, increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center and encourage citizens to visit hospitalized Veterans and to become involved as volunteers.
During the Salute, held each year around Valentine’ss Day, VA invites individuals, Veterans groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars to participate in a variety of activities at VA medical centers. These include special ward visits and valentine distributions, photo opportunities, school essay contests, special recreation activities and Veteran recognition programs.
It’s also an opportunity for you and your community to learn about volunteer opportunities at VA medical centers.
“The National Salute to Veteran Patients is a wonderful opportunity for patriotic Americans to show their appreciation for Veterans. This year is particularly significant given that this is the 70th Anniversary for VA Voluntary Service,” said Sabrina C. Clark, Director of VA Voluntary Service. “I encourage everyone to visit a Veteran at a local VA medical facility this Valentine’s week, but I challenge everyone to make this National Salute the start of a commitment to honor Veterans by volunteering at a VA Medical Center and offering their own personal touch to serving those who served us first.”
A fun part of National Salute week are the musical concerts that are free to Veterans and their families. “The Miracles” are the highlight group at several locations this year: Los Angeles on February 11, Indianapolis on Valentine’s Day, the 14th, on March 12, they are in Atlanta and continue on to Las Vegas, Charleston SC, Cleveland and Washington D.C.
Other performers are Aaron Tippin, Exile, The Kentucky Headhunters and Jon Sousan. Locate the facility nearest you to see if there is a concert at the VA medical center in your area.
Dr. Himanshu Singh, Acting Director of the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw, MI, notified his local communities about Salute Week in a detailed background letter to local editors.
Ceremonies at the Fargo VA Medical Center will include a visit by the Military Order of the Cootie.
At the Houston VA Medical Center, Congressman Al Green will hand out flags flown over the US capitol to Houston VA Veterans.
Dr. Patricia Ten Haaf, Director of the John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, announced to local Veterans that the Sixth Annual; Valentines for Veterans; concert entertainer will be Eagles Tribute Show; Take It to The Limit.
VA thanks the organizational donors that make these concerts a success.
Connie Stevens, this years Committee Chairperson, says of Veterans, ”They are my favorite Americans. The second half of this website has more information on Connie Stevens. Contact your nearest VA Medical Center and ask for Voluntary Service to discover the wonderful things you, your group or organization can do to salute Americas Heroes.