Army Veteran and Red Coat Ambassador Joe Buais helps a Veteran check in for an appointment.

Military Veterans have a variety of different characteristics. Some were enlisted, some officers, some are a little younger, some a little older, some saw combat, some did not.

The list goes on but one thing all Veterans have in common is their commitment to protect our nation.

The Red Coat Ambassador program at the Columbia VA Health Care System is no different.

Staff members have different characteristics – some younger, some older, some Veterans, some not.

And just like Veterans, the Red Coat Ambassadors all have commitment in common – a commitment to excellence while assisting our nation’s Veterans.

Above and beyond to assist our nation’s heroes

“We have a great team of ambassadors,” said Denise Smith. “They go above and beyond to ensure our nation’s heroes are assisted as they enter the facility. Whether it is offering wheelchair or ambulatory assistance or providing information to enhance the Veteran’s experience, our team is willing to render support and guidance.”

Red Coat Ambassadors from the Columbia VA Health Care System

Red Coat Ambassadors from the Columbia VA Health Care System

Smith is the supervisor of the Red Coat Ambassador program.

Army Veteran and Red Coat Ambassador Joe Buais is an example of the dedication and excellence the team provides to Veterans. Buais received national recognition when he received Red Coat Ambassador of the Year at the VA Patient Experience Symposium.

“It’s all about serving the Veterans.”

“For me it is important because when you go serve your country, you want to come back and be treated with dignity and respect,” Buais said. “They served their country, so I want to give back to them. It is all about serving the Veterans and being that friendly face when they come through the door.”

In the past year, Red Coat Ambassadors Andrea White and Cheri Oakes received recognition from Columbia VA for their dedication to Veterans.

The Red Coat Ambassador program is part of the new culture of customer service at VA medical centers across the country.

“The Red Coats provide that extra touch in a very complex medical environment,” said retired Air Force Veteran Thomas Robillard. “Their attitude exuberates pride in the mission they are performing. They truly live up to the title of Red Coat Ambassadors.”

Learn more about how VA is improving the Veteran experience.

By Matthew R. Bell is an Army Veteran and a public affairs specialist at the Columbia VA.

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Published on Oct. 8, 2021

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One Comment

  1. Charles October 14, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Columbia VA Rocks the Red! Thanks for all you do to honor our nation’s heroes!

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