VA observes National Salute to Veteran Patients week Feb. 9-15. We honor hospitalized Veterans this week by encouraging people to seek opportunities to volunteer at their local VA medical facilities.
The week of Feb.y 14 each year is your opportunity to thank a special group of men and women. More than 9 million Veterans are cared for in VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, domiciliaries and nursing homes.
“VA values the contributions of our volunteers, donors and partners in helping us keep the promise to America’s Veterans,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said. “These community resources confirm to our Veterans that we are a nation that cares and remembers their sacrifices every day.”
Full week of activities
Here’s what just one VA medical center is doing during Salute Week. At the Salem, Virginia, VA medical center, there’s a band Sunday, Miss Virginia and Bingo Monday, American Legion Post 80 bingo and dinner Tuesday, American Legion Post 3 barbecue lunch for Veterans Wednesday, “Let’s Make a Deal” and dinner Thursday, Magic Show and lunch Friday and Patsy’s Dance Studio and refreshments Saturday.
Last year, schools, community groups and youth organizations nationwide sent more than 109,000 valentines to VA medical centers. Medical center staff then distributed the mail to Veteran patients. More than 2,900 volunteers and 521 community organizations contributed to events and activities recognizing hospitalized Veterans.
Nationwide, over 61,000 volunteers provide more than 9.2 million volunteer hours serving Veterans. Volunteers are a priceless asset to the nation’s Veterans and to the department.
Anyone wanting to volunteer and join the mission to honor the sacrifice and service of America’s Veterans during the National Salute, or any time of year, can visit their nearest VA medical facility or contact Voluntary Service online at www.volunteer.va.gov.
In memory of Ann Landers and a special thanks to Annie’s Mailbox
For the 31st consecutive year, the nationally syndicated column started by Ann Landers, now called “Ask Annie,” has devoted a column to the National Salute, asking readers to send valentine cards and letters to hospitalized Veterans at VA medical facilities.
Readers send more than a million cards and letters to VA patients each year during the National Salute. Several VA medical facilities will host “Valentines for Veterans” concerts featuring acclaimed musicians.