National Salute to Veteran Patients
February 23, 2023
Valentine’s Day week is not just a time for couples to rekindle their love. It’s also National Salute to Veteran Patients Week! The holiday was created as a way to show appreciation to Veterans while also raising awareness for the role of the VA Medical Center and encouraging the community to get involved through various volunteer opportunities. During this week, our VA Support Program volunteers get very active! We host luncheons, dinners, do lots of patient visits, hand out Valentine’s Day cards and find small ways to show our love and support for Veterans at the VA. Here are just some of the fun activities we hosted last week in celebration.
Since National Salute to Veteran Patients Week always falls on Valentine’s Day week, we make sure to infuse some added Vday love into our events by handing out Valentine’s Day cards, candy, and other fun holiday things. For example, in Anchorage the team handed out heart shaped boxes of chocolate to Veterans and staff. In Charleston, Cadets from the Citadel provided Valentine’s Day cards and candy that were passed out to over 200 Veterans at the Veteran Food Distribution on February 14th. In Detroit, they passed out chocolate covered pretzels, bracelets, and bags of candy.
“We handed out approximately 1100 items to our Veterans. I also brought 48 bags of pretzels to the VA Domiciliary which houses 36 Veterans.” – Elise Larkin, Detroit Area Director
Coffee and Breakfast
We served up piping hot coffee, donuts, breakfast items in some of our VA Hospital locations – a great way to start off the day!
“In San Antonio, we passed out 100 breakfast tacos, 100 valentines cards, 100 candy bags to the Veterans at NW Healthcare Center. We also passed out 120 candy bags and valentines cards to the Veterans at American GI Forum and 50 candy bags and valentines at both NE and NW Vet Centers.” – Jana Evans, Area Manager-San Antonio
We rolled out our “comfort carts” in various locations to pass out items like skincare, Books-A-Million Joe Muggs Coffee bags, blankets, and treats.
“We saw lots of smiles and gratitude over the 4 days our team spent handing out the cards, candy, and coffee at 3 different VA locations.” – Manny Gonzalez, Area Manager – Orlando
Some of our VA Hospital sites hosted luncheons, dinners, and ice cream socials for Veterans and even brought food into various hospital rooms for patients who couldn’t join them in the dining hall. In Cincinnati they hosted a Super Bowl party, in Los Angeles they had a BBQ, while in Chillicothe, Ohio they had an Ice Cream social. Veterans in San Diego were treated to Jersey Mikes subs, treats, and snacks!
The West Palm Beach VA Hospital Representatives kept their regular movie night tradition going strong for Salute to Veteran Patient Week! The provided snacks and community to the Veterans in the VA Medical Center Domicilary.
These are just some of the many ways we spread love to Veteran patients and VA Hospital staff during Salute to Veteran Patient Week. As always, we are so grateful for the volunteers who give their time and energy to supporting the VA Hospital and Veteran patients. You bring smiles and joy to Veterans who need it every day.