Our digital media team receives many submissions to our email inbox. Some of our favorite mesages are the stories from Veterans and families who share how VA is directly impacting their lives.

One special story was sent to us this week from an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran named Joshua who is a patient at the Buffalo VA Medical Center. Joshua wanted to thank one of the people who helped him in Buffalo’s occupational therapy department.

Before leaving on a beach vacation, Joshua was fitted for a new wheelchair. During the family vacation, and thanks to the new wheelchair, Joshua was able to share a special moment with his 5-year-old son as they took their first walk on the beach together.

Joshua sent us his thank you note and a photo of that beach walk.

A note and photo we received today that’s worth sharing: #HonoringVets To whom it may concern, I wanted to take a moment to thank the Buffalo VA and especially Lynn K. of the OT Department. Lynn not only worked very hard to get me in the proper wheelchair she also ensured that I received new batteries for it right before a family vacation. Her dedication to serving Veterans is exemplary. With so much negative attention surrounding the VA. I wanted to share a positive story. Thank you Lynn for showing that some are still at the VA for the right reasons. Your hard work led to an unforgettable moment for me and my 5-year-old son this week in Cocoa Beach, Florida. We took our first stroll down the beach together. Thank you for this. God bless you, the VA and the United States of America. With greatest respect, Joshua G USA/ SGT(DAV/PRM) Iraq Veteran ’03

A photo posted by Department of Veterans Affairs (@deptvetaffairs) on

Joshua’s note had an impact on our team, and on the person he says helped him make this special moment happen.

“I was very touched when I saw Joshua’s message. As an occupational therapist I know first-hand how important a wheelchair can be to a Veteran so they can participate in day to day activities such as a family vacation,” said Lynn Rehfeld-Kenney. “I am very fortunate that the VA system is set up to allow the therapist to recommend and provide the right type of equipment to increase a Veteran’s independence. Helping Veterans like Joshua, have made my 28 years at Buffalo VA very fulfilling.”

Thank you, Joshua, for your service.  And thank you, Lynn and the staff at the Buffalo VA Medical Center, for making such a special moment possible.


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Published on May. 11, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2.2 min.

Views to date: 88


  1. Michael L Reidy May 18, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Melissa, you are so very special. Thank you.

  2. NOLA Electrician May 17, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Very sweet note! Touches my heart! :)

  3. Leon Suchorski May 14, 2016 at 2:54 am

    I know that Buffalo gets a LOT of snow, but after four years in the Marines, I have had my fill of sandy beaches. LOL

  4. Laura Elliott May 13, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    These wonderful stories that reveal the hard work and dedication of the VA staff. I know there are many of these that happen every day. My healthcare needs have been minimal so far (thank goodness!) but I love getting my healthcare from the VA.

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