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VA thanks volunteers


April 10, 2014 Letters to the Editor

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Every day, hundreds of appreciative citizens in our community join the thousands of their fellow volunteers across the country in thanking Veterans for their service by volunteering at VA Butler Healthcare.

Our volunteers vary in age, gender, income, education, race or ethnic background, but all of our volunteers share one thing in common – they are driven with a patriotic verve to use their unique talents and skills toward improving Veterans’ lives at our facility. The very root of their selfless service is sincere appreciation.

Here at VA Butler, more than 300 volunteers provide more than 40,000 hours of service to Veterans each year to support Veterans served by and through VA Butler. These volunteers show up with arms wide open for tasks that range anywhere from driving Veterans to their appointments, providing direction throughout the facility, assisting clinicians, or holding a Veteran’s hand at the bedside to keep them from being alone during trying times.

The reasons our volunteers give so selflessly of their time are as many as they are. Many may enter our doors seeking experience for a resume, something to do after retirement, a way to keep up with fellow Veterans, or simply wanting to say thank you to a defender of their freedom. However, most stay because giving their time and service to these former service members gives them a purpose, opens a passion, introduces them to the person they have always wanted to be.

National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, is a time to recognize and thank volunteers for their incredible efforts and inspiring actions. It is a time to call everyone else in our community to serve those who served us first. President Obama issued a memorandum to federal agencies urging them to increase opportunities for volunteer service. We invite people to tell us how they want to use their unique interests and skills as a volunteer for the betterment of Veterans. I encourage residents not only to thank a volunteer today, but to listen to their stories and think about joining the ranks of these remarkable champions of compassion among us.

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