During Valentine’s week many of us think about those who have personally touched our lives in a special way. That’s why at VA, Veterans are highlighted during this special time with the National Salute to Veteran Patients.

More than 98,000 Veterans of the U.S. Armed Services are cared for every day in VA medical facilities, outpatient clinics, domiciliary sites and community living centers. The salute gives every American the chance to thank Veterans for our freedom. VA’s and communities across the nation partner together to honor Veterans with special visits, Valentine’s Day cards and mementos during their hospitalized stay or outpatient visit.

Buffalo Bills kicker Jordan Gay and wide receiver Marcus Easley teamed up with a members of the Bills Alumni Association to spend the afternoon at the VA Western New York Healthcare System. “Today was a very eye opening experience,” said Easley. “You know we get a lot of praise for what we do on the field, but there’s a lot that goes behind the scenes in other countries and within this country.  And for the Veterans that we visited today, and for Veterans all across the world, you know they’re the real heroes. They’re the guys that dedicate and put their lives on the line and leave their families for the betterment of this country, which the end result gives us the opportunity to be able to do what we do.”

In Kansas City, Jeff Swanson works with the United War Veterans Council getting Valentine’s Day mementos out to Veterans. “Dear soldier, I salute you and you fighting for our country. One day, I want to be just like you. Thank you. Sincerely, Nicholas. 4th grade,” one card reads.

Volunteers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base visited the Dayton VA Medical Center to show their support for Veterans. “It’s a great opportunity for our young airmen and civilians who work at Wight-Patterson Air Force Base to kind of meet the generation that came before them and pave the way for us that are serving today,” said Col. John Devillier, 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Community groups, sports teams, local celebrities across the country participated in National Salute week. Check out some of the photos below.

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Published on Feb. 18, 2016

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  1. Howard E. Gordon February 22, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    You’ve heard from me before, do you wish that you could be healthy again, but it just ain’t happening. that is what i feel every day of my life since 1995. Yes i have Agent Orange Poisoning – you don’t ever get well. you get sicker and sicker. If i knew then what i know now i would have dodged the draft. I would never have showed up. You gtt sent to Vietnam and you got lucky and don’t get killed or wounded. That’s what you think, you did get killed or wounded but you didn’t know it at that time. You are told that it hits you later. Well i was 50 when it hit me. My quality of life changed forever Type II diabetes, sores draining puss forever with the infections that poison your blood. You find out that you are Agent Orange poisoned by a chemical that was spray in Vietnam that the U.S. ordered sprayed.You can’t even sue the chemical company that created the chemical. There are large numbers of people that were poisoned, many are sick, many have died from the poisoning, and untold numbers have, and will commit suicide! You write your Government (President) and it gets swept under the carpet.

    Howard Gordon a Vietnam Vet.

  2. Lisa Pizzo February 19, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    What is being done about the Philadelphia VA?
    You walk in the door no one smiles are great you know and really look at anyone in that place there’s no one there to fill it with gratefulness humility or small thank you that means something huge to a veteran… I remember when I was little going into hospital and still today they have them actually volunteers wearing red and white stripes greeted you with a smile willing and ready to help you find your Waze where you need to be for your next appointment, there isn’t anything that comes close at the Philadelphia BA I ask this because I’ve yet to see any thing about volunteers and although I’ve inquired about it I’ve still heard nothing.
    sincerely the Widow of an angel Veteran
    Spc. Pizzo
    OIF DOD 2011

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