July 4th – picnics, fireworks, parades, patriotic music and eloquent speeches. A wonderful day in a beautiful country!

We usually just call it The Fourth but of course it’s officially Independence Day. Congress officially recognized the holiday on June 28, 1870.

Independence has a very special meaning for the thousands of Veterans we serve at VA. The independence we enjoy in America has been safeguarded for 242 years by the millions of men and women in uniform since Valley Forge.

At VA medical centers across America, Veterans salute and are saluted with special occasions to mark the day. Just a few examples:

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson visited Hines VA Hospital in Chicago to meet Veterans and help distribute food at the Hines Food Pantry

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson at the Hines VA Hospital, Chicago

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson (above) visited Hines VA Hospital in Chicago to meet Veterans and help distribute food at the Hines Food Pantry. Larson is the ambassador for Stars & Stripes Weekend which celebrates and honors all who serve and those who have served. Veterans at Hines also received 50 tickets to the NASCAR Xfinity Series 300 Race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Thanks, Rick Fox, Public Affairs Officer, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital

Ride for the Heroes 2018

Ride for the Heroes 2018

Thanks, Samuel E. House, Public Affairs Specialist, Cheyenne VA Medical Center

Thunder on the Mountain

Thunder on the Mountain

For decades, Thunder on the Mountain has been hailed as one of the largest and most extravagant Independence Day traditions in the state of Alabama—and this year will be no exception.  On July 4 Thunder on the Mountain 2018 will once again illuminate the skies above Birmingham’s beloved iron man, Vulcan and will be televised live from the top of the Birmingham VA Medical Center parking garage.

Over 200 Veterans, staff and family members will view the fireworks which will be choreographed to a musical soundtrack patriotic favorites and popular music.

Thanks, Jeffrey Hester

The Bay Pines Community Living Center will have the Alder Gate Strings Band perform as they have for many years. One other unique guest will be a miniature horse.

Thanks, Melanie Thomas and Jenny Campbell.

Artist Yolanda Mozdzen

Artist Yolanda Mozdzen

Artist Yolanda Mozdzen painted a series of five paintings for Veterans celebrating the 4th of July.  Her plan is to donate one painting to a facility relating to Veterans in each of the five boroughs of New York City.  She chose the one called “Home” to bring to VA’s Manhattan Campus.  “I thought ‘Home’ felt right for the hospital because while patients are in the hospital, it is home.  And many Veterans feel  more comfortable and happier in a place where they are with other Veterans than somewhere where people don’t know about them,” she said.

Her 4th of July paintings are dedicated to US Veterans everywhere, from every era.

Thank You, Claudie Benjamin

VA Western NY Healthcare System had a marvelous Flag Day Celebration in partnership with Batavia Middle School. They recently held a large Veterans Stand Down at Key Bank Center to provide resources to all Veterans. Over 100 VA and community providers, employers and resources were on hand to help Veterans.

Thank you, Evangeline Conley, Public Affairs Officer

Veterans and family members attended a special concert by the U.S. Air Force Rock Band at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center on June 30. There was also an ice cream social, great music and great treats, sponsored by the Voluntary Service Team

Thanks, Lela Vance-Glover

New Orleans VA Medical Center held their third annual Salute to the Flag where WWII Veterans raise the flag. The agenda included a welcome by the medical center director Fernando O. Rivera, the raising of the flags  by George Mazzeno and  Jack Castrogiovanni, WWII Veterans and a 21 Gun Salute to the Flag by the Louisiana National Guard.

Thanks, Amanda S. Jones

The day after Congress voted to declare independence, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail:  “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

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Published on Jul. 3, 2018

Estimated reading time is 3.5 min.

Views to date: 105


  1. James A. Shelton July 3, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Is this going to be at the Roseburg, Oregon V A Clinic that is passing as a Hospital?
    This place needs to really have an undercover employ work here and get the true way it is following the Presidents orders. A vet cannot go to any hospital they chose. They have to First see their primary, the Dr. has to request that the vet see a specialist, second the specialist has to forward this to a committee third the comity that meets once a month has to O K the vet see an outside Dr. Fourth the insurance company will call the veteran the middle of the five days and give them their three choices of Dr. which is in my case way further than I can travel. The vet has to not only go through this but keep up with it all to make sure it is moving as it should. If for any reason the Insurance does not get it completed it has to start all over, with no short cuts.
    Thank you

  2. Charley Dubin July 3, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks to my fellow vets we made it thru another tough stretch.Now we will be able to teach the youth with the same problems that we had.This also helped my friends and family.We had some expensive free medicals and the usual LOS old Army shortages but plenty of civilian test director exposure.

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