Posted on May 12, 2015
TSgt Christopher D.
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Vets
My mother began her career as a nurse working for the VA when I was 13 years old. She worked in the Geriatric unit, and about 6 weeks after she started working there, she took our family up to the VA on a Saturday to visit with the veterans in the hospital. She cried a lot when she worked there. These men and women had sacrificed so much for their country only to be essentially abandoned by their families. They never had any visitors, and so my Mom brought us up to visit.

These men and women got such big smiles on their faces when they saw us. Many of them also cried. Some were "only" stricken with nagging injuries and the bodily curses of old age, but they couldn't care for themselves anymore. Others were in the merciless throes of dementia, and except for the medical professionals caring for them, were completely alone.

We visited every other weekend for about 4 months. Two of them "adopted" me and my sister as their grandkids; RDML (ret) Noble, and SFC (ret) Sanneman. Both WWII veterans. I remember my mother telling me years later about how they each got up early and made sure to be dressed up and well-groomed on the days they knew we were coming. They both died about 3 weeks apart, and our visits to the VA came to an end. some 26 years later and I still get teary-eyed thinking of these gentlemen.

These visits changed my life.

I have visited each VA medical center nearest where I was stationed during my career, and today is my first visit to a VA Medical Center as a retiree. I'm more emotional about it than I anticipated being. My wife is coming with me, and she made purple origami butterflies with thank you messages to hand out to our heroes. I'll post pics later if I remember to ask my wife to take them.

The VA here in Houston was only too willing to set up a time for us to come visit. If you live near a VA care facility, I'd suggest you make a trip there when you have time. Your visit will brighten a lot of people's faces, and you will gain much more from your time with them than you might think.
Posted in these groups: C92a59d8 FamilyWheelchair and flag Disabled Veterans
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1SG First Sergeant
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Great to see this I do this a few times a year and it is always a good time.
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SGT Jim Barrows
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After ets way back in 1988 I went to work for the V.A. I know how your mommy felt it's sad to see how lonely these guys are I applaud you for the love you are showing God bless you brother
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TSgt Christopher D.
TSgt Christopher D.
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Thank you, SGT Jim Barrows .
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CMSgt Mark Schubert
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I hope you set a record for up votes with this post. You have 42 views now and only 5 up votes - crazy. How can anyone view this and not vote it up? It's too simple!

When I was deployed to Bagram, it was a daily stop for me - the hospital was on my way to/from my BHut and there were warfighters in there that literally had NOBODY to care for them other than the staff. I was not one to "force" my troops to do anything like that, however, I did "strongly encourage" them to visit these warfighters in the hospital on a regular basis.
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TSgt Christopher D.
TSgt Christopher D.
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CMSgt Mark Schubert , that's certainly a noble cause for "strongly encouraging" anything. I'm sure it meant a lot to our brothers and sisters! I'm leaving in 20 minutes, I've done this, or something like it at least 50 times before, but for some reason I'm nervous, and quite a bit more emotional about this visit. I don't know why. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.
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CMSgt Mark Schubert
CMSgt Mark Schubert
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Just by this one post, I can tell this is a heart issue TSgt Christopher D. and your heart is healthy and in the right place. You care about people and relationships and encouraging others! Thanks for loving and caring about people - and especially our veterans.
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TSgt Christopher D.
TSgt Christopher D.
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Thank you, sir.
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CMSgt Mark Schubert
CMSgt Mark Schubert
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Your mother set a very good example for you and I'm glad you were able to see the importance of caring for others and take it seriously. God Speed!
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