Independence Day has many different meanings for Americans, reflective of the kaleidoscope of backgrounds, nationalities and ethnicities that makes up the demographics of the nation. But beyond our backgrounds and where we came from, there are Americans of all faiths and backgrounds who strive to give back, serving the communities they call home. Those individuals volunteer.

One such American is Rose Solak, who has volunteered her time to serve Veterans in the Detroit area for four decades. She began volunteering in 1981 after her brother, a former Marine, passed away.

“They served our country and now it’s our time to serve them.”

To honor his service, she decided to serve southeast Michigan Veterans.

As a testament to her pride and passion, she’s won the National VA Voluntary Service leadership award twice for her immense efforts.

“I just wanted to do something that makes me feel good,” Solak said. “They served our country and now it’s our time to serve them.”

More than 35,000 hours of volunteer service

Solak has been recognized for her more than 35,000 hours of volunteer service.

She adds that she would like to see more younger volunteers, or volunteers from local universities, in order to show them about the world of Veterans seeking care. “Veterans sacrificed so much for us and it’s the least we can do,” she added.

Volunteers at Detroit VA can assist with several different tasks, including providing escorts, transporting Veterans to and from appointments, and office assistance.

There are many other roles for people interested in sharing their talent and skills. They can help Veteran patients succeed and experience VA health care with dignity and compassion.

When not volunteering her time at Detroit VA, Solak can be found at nearby Vet Centers. There, she assists with meals for Veterans, including a favorite dish for Father’s Day – short ribs.

“I enjoy seeing their eyes light up every time they see they’re noticed and appreciated,” she added.

People who may be interested in volunteering but are unable can also donate goods, including non-perishable food items, toiletries, and clothing items, such as socks and shirts.

Related blog post: VA nurse executive volunteers over 300 hours to administer vaccines

By Elliott R. Sprehe is a public affairs specialist for the Detroit VA Health Care System. Photos by Larry Marchionda.

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Published on Jul. 25, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.9 min.

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  1. Jeb Bowdoin July 29, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Rose, thank you for your service to veterans!

  2. James R Sherman July 27, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    The point I’m trying to make, is most of us full time workers spend 40 hours per week at the office XX 50 weeks per year totalling 2000 hours per year. ROSE YOU HAVE VOLUNTEERED OVER 17 YEARS TO VETERANS!!


  3. James R Sherman July 27, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Rose Solak, YOU ARE A SAINT!! There are many others who give their time and talent to veterans. 35,000 hours is HUGE!! At 2,000 hours per year, that’s more than 17 years!!! Thank you for your time and service to veterans. Your brother is beaming from ear to ear!

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