Showing love to local veteran patients during national celebration


    Showing love to local veteran patients during national celebration

    With Valentine's Day just around the corner the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center is hoping you can show some love to those who served.

    The VA National Salute to Veteran Patients week is an annual event that goes back more than 40 years. It's all to honor veterans, while giving the community the chance to get to know these heroes.

    Many vets were in attendance, both residents and non-residents of the medical center, as the celebration kicked off Sunday.

    "Valentine's Day was a great opportunity to show the love that the country has for our veterans," said Russell Lloyd, the medical center director.

    Well-deserved love, given to those who served so bravely.

    "This is what we forget. if you look around and you see some of my fellow veterans from WWII are in wheelchairs. It's what it's all about," said WWII combat medic Sam Greenberg.

    Music and even some dancing filled the room where the celebration was held and now the VA wants you to get involved!

    The public can come visit and hang out with the vets throughout the week to show that their actions weren't taken for granted.

    "Feel like we accomplished something instead of just coming home and disappearing in the crowds," explained Army veteran Fred Searles. "You come up here and you know that you're appreciated."

    For some living at the VA, it can be pretty lonely. They might not have family or friends that can come visit, so this week means a lot.

    "Sometimes they'll say 'oh, that reminds me of something my daughter did.' Or if I tell them a funny story about something my sons did or my grandchildren, their eyes just light up," said American legion Auxiliary Hospital representative Ann Edwards.

    So if you have time this week, swing by and get to know the veterans, because actions speak louder than words.

    "It's more than just a salute with a hand," said Louis Smyth, the volunteer service assistant. "It's remembering what they've done and what they mean to us."

    "Peace doesn't come easy, war is not pleasant," added Greenberg. "So we take it for what it's worth and whatever the good lord wills us."

    It will be a part of your day spent helping those who helped make this country what it is today.

    "Any veteran out there, thank you for your service," said Edwards.

    There's a whole schedule of events that goes through the 16th. That includes bingo and pizza parties, a casino day, and card and carnation hand-outs on Valentine's Day.

    Volunteers are welcome at all these events.

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