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VA Voluntary Service

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In the News

American Legion Auxiliary partners with VA to help Veterans find their way around VA hospitals
Red Coat Ambassadors

Every April, the nation recognizes health care and other volunteers and the services they provide. Across VA, volunteers donate thousands of hours at various sites of care. To ensure a consistent and positive Veteran experience, the Red Coat Ambassador volunteer program is now at every VA medical center.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/17/2019]

Veteran inspired by his VA patient experience now leads volunteer program at Detroit VA
Detroit VAMC

More than 75,000 volunteers give 11 million hours a year in service to America’s Veterans. It is impossible to calculate the amount of caring, sharing and impact VA volunteers have on Veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors. For Army Veteran Bill Browning, spending time inside a VA hospital as a patient put him on the path to becoming the Chief of Voluntary Service at the Detroit VA Medical Center.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/15/2019]

VA Volunteers: Compassion, love, unselfish caring
VA Volunteers: Compassion, love, unselfish caring

VA salutes our thousands of Volunteers during this National Volunteer Week. We celebrate the volunteer service and shine a light on the men and women in VA facilities across America. We hope they inspire you to volunteer and, like them, lend your time and talent to help us care for our Veterans. Our volunteers come from every occupation and neighborhood. Here is the journey of one dedicated young lady from Volunteer to VA employee who proudly states that she is “Forever Rooted in VA Voluntary Service.”

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/09/2019]

Former Paratrooper Earns Volunteer of the Year Award for Work with Incarcerated Veterans
Red Coat Ambassadors: Improving the Veteran Experience

Master Sgt. Kevin Burrill spent 14 years on active duty in the US Army, as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division, before his first combat tour to Afghanistan. He was a soldier’s soldier. His deployments to hostile-fire zones included Macedonia, Bosnia and multiple tours to Iraq. Burrill was a battalion mortar platoon sergeant on assignment with his unit on April 12, 2007, in the Ghazni Province, when the blast from an improvised explosive device upended their mission. Burrill and his team were injured by the impact of shrapnel, dirt, and pressure that pierced the hull of their tactical vehicle. His section mortar sergeant, a close friend whom Burrill had specifically asked to join him that day, was killed in action.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 01/30/2019]

Red Coat Ambassadors:  Improving the Veteran Experience
Red Coat Ambassadors: Improving the Veteran Experience

The Red Coat Ambassador Program is part of the new culture of customer service at VA Medical Centers across the country.

The Orlando VA Medical Center was one of the first facilities to pioneer the program. Today, its VA employees and volunteers greet Veterans, their families and caregivers with a smile, and help them find their way around the facility.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 01/14/2019]

Volunteers Needed in D.C. to Assemble 25,000 Care Pouches for Operation Gratitude
Volunteers for Operation Gratitude

The Community Veterans Engagement Board (CVEB) is seeking volunteers in the Washington, D.C. metro area to assemble 25,000 Operation Gratitude care pouches. The charity organization “seeks to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities” by delivering individually addressed care packages to deployed troops and National Guardsmen, law enforcement officers, and firefighters in cities across America.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 12/17/2018]

Time to Honor Veterans’ Caregivers – National Family Caregivers Month
Veteran and caregiver wife

On November 11th we honor our nation’s Veterans. Did you know the entire month of November is also National Family Caregivers Month? National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers for their valuable contributions. Celebrating family caregivers during November enables all of us to raise awareness of the issues caregivers face, especially those who care for Veterans.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 11/01/2018]

Association for Health Care Volunteer Resource Professional (AHVRP) Member Spotlight

The AHVRP Member Spotlight for October 2018 is Alfredo Stokes, Voluntary Service Specialist, Alaska VA Healthcare System, Anchorage, Alaska.

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[This article appeared on the AHVRP website on 10/2018]

Brother-Sister Duo Spend Summer Serving Veterans at VA hospital in New Orleans
Rivera brother and sister team serving Veterans

In the spirit of attending to the needs of others, Mateo Rivera and his sister Dulcé spent some of their summer volunteering at their local VA health care system in New Orleans.

The Rivera brother-sister duo joined over 30 other area high school students who participated in the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System’s Junior Volunteer Program and served in various roles helping care for the men and women who have worn the uniform.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 09/21/2018]

09/20/2018 – Red Coat Ambassadors Make Southern Illinois VA a ‘Happy Place’
Red coat ambassador

Red Coat Ambassadors wear a highly visible red coat or vest and greet Veterans and escort visitors and family members. They provide a personal, yet standardized VA experience that includes assistance with navigation, helpful information and the necessary support to make their visit to VA not only successful, but also pleasant.

The Marion VA Medical Center in Southern Illinois utilized the Red Coat Ambassador Toolkit from VA’s Veterans Experience Office to restructure their volunteer ambassador program last year.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 09/20/2018]

Google Volunteers and Veterans Meet at Palo Alto VA to Improve Job Seeking Skills
Google volunteers and Veterans

More than 40 Veterans attended a unique event in June as a large team of recruiters from Google descended upon the VA Palo Alto’s Menlo Park campus to help share their knowledge and train Veterans in critical job seeking skills.

The first-of-its-kind Google and Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) Veterans’ Employment Readiness Fair brought together these two groups at the Menlo Park Welcome Center for a day of workshops and networking. The event, organized by the CWT, brought in 32 Google recruiters as part of the annual Google Serve program, under which employees spend the month of June volunteering in their communities.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 08/09/2018]

“Thank you for your service.” Volunteers honor Kentucky Veterans on Flag Day
Volunteers placing flags on gravesites

”W.G. Mack … Thank you for your service.”

Whether known or unknown, over and over this morning, the names of those buried at Camp Nelson National Cemetery were read aloud in tribute to service not forgotten.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 06/14/2018]

Veterans serving Veterans:  A Win-Win Situation
Volunteers from the Louisiana VA St. Tammany Parish Service Office

Volunteering is typically a win-win situation. The volunteer gets satisfaction from being part of something bigger than themselves, as well as camaraderie and opportunities to form new friendships. Many organizations come to depend on their volunteers. The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs St. Tammany (West) Parish Service Office is one of those agencies that not only depends on, but also cherishes, its volunteers.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 04/04/2018]

Putting Green Unveiled at VA Hospital, Veterans Play with Professional Golfer Larry Mize

Outside the gates of Augusta National disabled Veterans got a chance to play with the pros.

On Monday, our nation’s heroes got a chance to learn a thing or two about golf from 1987 Masters Champion and Augusta native Larry Mize. For many of the paralyzed Veterans it was the first time they’ve played in decades.

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[This article appeared on the WJBF News Channel 6 website on 04/02/2018]

Selfless Work Earns VA Volunteer National Award
Volunteer Susan Cookus

Susan Cookus’ unbridled dedication to Veterans and their needs has earned her a great deal of appreciation and respect over the many years she has volunteered at Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System. This year, she has been recognized nationally as one of the best.

The National Advisory Committee for VA’s Voluntary Services named Cookus as the National Female Volunteer of the Year after reviewing nomination letters from staff and Veterans. Cookus is a member of Soldiers’ Angels, a Texas-based non-profit that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the U.S. armed services, their families and a growing Veteran population.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 08/08/2018]

More Than 3,000 Volunteers Needed for the 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games
Wheelchair games participant

Want to do something amazing this summer and make a difference in a Veteran’s life? The 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games is coming to Orlando, Florida, July 30 to Aug. 4 and your help is needed.

Co-presented by VA and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the games inspire Veterans living with conditions such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, amputations and other physical disabilities to lead healthier and more active lives through sports and recreation.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 01/17/2018]

VA Celebrates National Patient Ambassador Day
Red Coat Ambassador and Veteran

VA celebrates national Patient Ambassador Day Wednesday, Nov. 29 to recognize Red Coat Patient Ambassadors and volunteers across the country who go the extra mile to make a good first impression when Veterans visit a VA facility.

Red Coat Ambassadors wear a highly visible red coat or vest and greet Veterans and escort visitors and family members. They provide a personal, yet standardized VA experience that includes assistance with navigation, helpful information and the necessary support to make their visit to VA not only successful, but also pleasant.

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[This article appeared on the VAntage Point blog on 11/27/2017]