The core values of VA – Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence – describe the exemplary behavior of VA’s dedicated staff that provides proactive, personalized, patient-driven health care for our Veterans. The personal stories of VA’s health care and support professionals are many, and they inspire us all.

Many VA employees have provided their stories on how they live the I CARE values in the performance of their duties. We will be highlighting these stories on the VA Careers blog, as well as our social channels, and encourage you to comment, share, and send in a story of your own!

Written by: Hillary Garcia

The goal of working for VA was ingrained in me throughout life, being the daughter of a VHA Environmental Management Service Chief and a granddaughter of a VHA Canteen Chief.

While in college, my friends were eyeing private sector jobs and I stayed interested in what VA had to offer. After graduation, I started my journey in VHA as a Technical Career Field intern in Human Resources. Most of my friends moved on to many jobs and struggled to find one to which they had an emotional connection.

I have worked in two different medical centers and am now a VISN15 employee, assisting HR offices in our network to improve processes to hire the best quality providers we can for our Veteran patients. We are teaming with Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment representatives to improve the number of Veterans hired at VA. The most rewarding thing about my job is helping individuals find employment with VA, seeing employees find a true lasting passion for Veterans in the work they do and honoring my late grandfathers and step-grandfather—Veterans of WWII, Vietnam and Korea.

Every interaction I have—walking through our hospitals, smiling at patients and employees—I hope to embody the kind of personal connection that I would have hoped my grandfathers received. It is an honor to serve those who served!

My Message to Potential Health Care Candidates:

The application process to work at VA is thorough—and it should be. We want vetted, focused applicants ready to commit to our values because we greatly value patients. I encourage you to consider really exploring the meaning of our mission here at VA; there really isn’t anything like it. Every day, we see faces of the women and men who have served in the hallways of our hospitals as reminders of why all who work here so passionately commit to keeping the promise to those who have served.

I value and support VA and tell everyone I encounter about the great work I see here when talking about my career. You can look into another hospital, but you’ll find it doesn’t stack up to the impact our Veterans have on those who are privileged to work for them.

I certainly will keep the energy I have until the day I retire from VA—our patients deserve it!

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2 Comments

  1. Patrick Shea December 5, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Very inspirational…thanks for sharing.

  2. Allan F. Lichter December 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Such a wonderful and inspiring story – as an Army Vet and VFW member who served from 1963-1966 , I’d certainly love to get a position with the VA here in CT! I’m college educated with a B.S. Degree who owned a business for 30 years and can’t think of anything I’d like to do better in my retirement years than serving my comrades again in some meaningful capacity. I’d appreciate any information about how I can apply! Thank you.

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