While the issues of taking care of our veterans can be vast and complex, sometimes a simple “thank-you” goes a long way. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said that veterans always appreciate heartfelt recognition of their service. Shinseki encourages everyone to participate in the National Salute to Veteran Patients.
The week of February 14 annually offers the opportunity for us all to recognize and say thanks to the more than 98,000 veterans who are cared for daily in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. So this year, Feb. 9-15, Shinseki asks Americans to visit and volunteer at VA medical centers and to send letters of thanks or Valentine’s Day cards to those who have protected our nation. Last year more than 310,424 valentines were received at VA medical centers and 18,770 members of the public visited more than 72,000 Veteran patients
One West Coast national service officer said that veterans are always thrilled for any visitors who come by to reach out and thank them for serving. “It’s very important to them to receive that recognition,” he said. “A visit or a card or letter just means the world to them.”
The annual February program encourages a tribute and expression of appreciation to veterans, an increase in community awareness of the role of VA medical centers, and visits to hospitalized veterans. It also serves as a call for volunteers at VA facilities across the country. To find out about volunteer opportunities, visit this link.
Learn how our Medical Services Department puts "boots on the ground" in VA hospitals nationwide
Tim W. Jackson is a freelance writer and editor in Asheville, N.C.