The choir members take part in a recording session for the “Till the Battle Has Been Won” slideshow. From the left are Antoinette Kennedy, pharmacy tech at Baltimore VA Medical Center; Patricia Riley, patient safety/risk management at Perry Point VA Medical Center; and Keisha Menefee, medical support assistant;  Regina Kennedy, chief of prosthetics; and Carole Jenkins, medical technician, all at the Baltimore VAMC.

During the week of Feb. 14, VA medical centers will hold special events as part of VA’s National Salute to Veteran Patients. It’s an opportunity to say thanks to Veterans, raise awareness of the role of VA care and encourage folks to get involved as volunteers.

I am a VA employee, and my usual job is writing and editing stories about the important research VA does to benefit Veterans. There’s a certain amount of creativity in what I do, but the main message is about hard science. That’s how VA researchers help VA clinicians deliver the best care possible.

Recently, I was privileged to be part of a volunteer effort that involved a different type of creativity. A song I wrote about Veterans—called Till the Battle Has Been Won—was performed by a talented group of employees based at the VA medical centers in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Working together with graphic designer Michael Escalante, a graduate intern in VA Research Communications, I was able to create a musical slideshow that combines the song with imagery. The lyrics, music and pictures tell a story that I think is perfect for National Salute week.

You can check out the video below. Please post a comment and let us know what you think.

I hope you’ll agree—while the slideshow does highlight VA care and research, and some of the science and technology involved in that effort, it’s more about spirit—the amazing spirit of Veterans, and that of the VA employees and volunteers, and the Veterans service organizations, who do what they do with dedication, gratitude and love.


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Published on Feb. 11, 2014

Estimated reading time is 1.7 min.

Views to date: 88


  1. Jeff Grandon February 12, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Great job, Mitch! Thanks for sharing your many talents.

  2. Paul D. Williams February 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Another HUGH Vote from Glasgow, KY

    Sites like this I can support all day long.

    Thanks for the many images and song with this video; if this video doesn’t move people by time its over, then they need help themselves.

    God Bless,

  3. Martin Miller February 11, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I never bother replying or commenting on websites but this moved me to say something. Thank you to all those that give so generously, your service and sacrifices do not go without notice or gratitude.

  4. Jackie Hammond February 11, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    This is wonderful and I appreciate this very much. My husband served in Viet Nam and my son-in-law in Desert Storm. Thank you very much. I know of others that have served, my granddaughter was in Afghanistan.

  5. Robin Boltz February 11, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    What makes this tribute even more meaningful to me is that it is written by a VA staff member and the choir is made up of VA staff members too. Thank you for the pictures of the writer and the singers; their passion for our Vets is evident.

  6. Shaun Kroese February 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I run
    and the station with for and I would like to receive as much veteran related audio to air on the “Global Voice for Veterans”
    I myself am a 100% disabled veteran and am volunteering for the above. I live in poverty because I sink my spare change into helping other veterans.
    If you have material for airplay please let me know because our audience is huge and our Veterans are eating up the music and information. Thank You

    • Mitch Mirkin February 12, 2014 at 10:23 am

      We would be honored if you would play the song on your station. Please contact me at if I can assist with that.

  7. Gaylen Young February 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    wonderfull it brought tears to my eyes

    • Mitch Mirkin February 12, 2014 at 10:20 am

      I am glad you found it meaningful.

  8. Kris Olafson February 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    You got my vote and thank you all for yor dedication and love…

  9. Gary Baxter February 11, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Very well done. The singing and the graphics. The graphics brought tears to my eyes.

    • Mitch Mirkin February 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Appreciate the kind words.

  10. Ann Marie Roberts February 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Thank you for this tribute to veterans.
    I was awed and was inspired to even do more for veterans as an American Legion member.
    God bless America.

    • Mitch Mirkin February 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

      Thank you for your service, both in the military and as an American Legion member.

Comments are closed.

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