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VA Boston Healthcare System


Lend a Hand, Deliver a Heart, Make a Friend

An older Veteran rest his chin and his hands staring forward

See life through the eyes of a Veteran during National Salute to Veterans Week

By Kassmin Williams, Public Affairs Intern
Friday, February 10, 2012

National Salute to Veterans week (Feb. 12-18) gives the community an exclusive opportunity to thank Veterans for their commitment in serving the U.S.  Take this time to visit Veterans at VA Boston Healthcare System campuses and outpatient clinics, participate in the Valentine for Veterans activity and learn more about our volunteering program. These simple gestures let our Veterans know that their bravery and generosity hasn’t been forgotten. 

People of all ages are welcome to visit patients throughout the week to discuss current events and history, participate in activities, and simply make a friend. VA BHS received an early visit on Thursday from New England Patriot tight end, Rob Gronkowski. We would like to thank him for his humility and gratitude toward our Veterans.

Veterans have limitless stories to tell, stories that will stay with a listener for a lifetime.  We encourage the community to send Valentine messages to Veterans throughout the week. This ritual started several years ago when Columnist Ann Landers encouraged school children and adults to write a special note to hospitalized Veterans in a Valentine’s Day greeting.

A few years ago, five classrooms at Central Elementary School in East Bridgewater created Valentine’s Day greetings which were delivered by a World War II Veteran to the Brockton campus.

VA BHS hopes that individuals, school children and community organizations will take advantage of this opportunity to honor and recognize our Veterans.  We look forward to seeing the creative ways that the community and individuals construct their greetings. Feel free to hand-deliver greetings as well.

National Salute to Veterans Week is also a great opportunity to learn about volunteer opportunities with VA BHS. Volunteering is a key component to our mission. Volunteers help VA pursue our mission of bringing a feeling of belonging to Veterans.

With the help of volunteers, VA BHS has been able to host numerous events for Veterans including the 15th annual New England Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans last month. This event allows disabled Veterans to explore a world that may have seemed impossible before.
VA BHS also hosted its first holiday celebration and shopping day for homeless and low-income Veterans. This wouldn’t have been possible without the time received from a group of Lincoln Technical Institute students.

There are limitless ways to say thank you to a Veteran, please take this week to explore the many opportunities VA BHS has to express a simple thank you and create a valuable friendship. Our Veterans deserve it.

To participate in National Salute Veterans Week, send Valentine’s Day greetings, and learn more about volunteer opportunities contact:

Jamaica Plain
Mary Peak, program assistant
Phone: (857)364-5071

Brian Kiernan, program assistant
Phone: (774) 826-1135

West Roxbury
Michaelle St. Germain, program assistant
Phone: (857)-203-5135

Visit the Volunteer or Give Web page for more information on volunteering at VA BHS.


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