Traditionally held during the week of Valentine's Day, the National Salute to Veteran Patients is an opportunity to say "thank you" to the more than 9 million veterans of the U.S. armed services who are cared for in Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers, outpatient clinics, domiciliaries, and nursing homes, a news release said.
Due to the pandemic restricting personal visits, veterans service organizations, churches, schools, civic organizations, businesses and individuals were asked to send Valentines, packaged snacks and video clips for the patients served at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, the release said.
The purpose of the salute is to pay tribute and express appreciation to veterans and increase community awareness of the role of the VA Medical Center.
Patricia McLemore, president of the Baseline-Meridian Chapter, United States Daughters of 1812, contacted Donna Whisenhunt, principal of Bobby Barrett Elementary School in Mount Ida, and explained valentines and a video clip were needed to help cheer the veterans during Salute week. The hospitalized patients have not had visitors since the pandemic began, the release said.
The video clip produced by the school featured students saying "thank you for your service" and "Happy Valentine's Day" and also the students' handcrafted valentines with their own personal message to the veteran.
U.S.D. 1812 adopted the Montgomery County school three years ago and provides dictionaries to each third-grade student as part of the "Dictionary Project." U.S.D. 1812 recently donated American flags to the school as well as school supplies.
McLemore delivered the valentines, packaged cookies, lap quilts and Valentines made by the ladies of W.IN.G.S. from Village Bible Church to Volunteer Services located at the Eugene Towbin Medical Center in North Little Rock.
Email McLemore at [email protected] for more information.