LOMA LINDA  – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is honoring hospitalized Veterans at VA medical centers, clinics and facilities nationwide today through Saturday, Feb. 15 during National Salute to Veteran Patients.

This annual observation gives all Americans the chance to thank the more than 9 million men and women  who receive care from VA through volunteering and creating Valentines cards.

“VA values the contributions of our volunteers, donors and partners that help us keep the promise to America’s Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “I encourage more people to reach out to their local VA facility and find ways to volunteer not only during the National Salute to Veteran Patients, all year long.”

VeteransEach year, volunteers from schools, community groups and youth organizations nationwide send more than 100,000 Valentine’s cards to VA medical centers for National Salute to Veteran Patients. VA aims to increase awareness of each VA medical center by encouraging citizens to visit hospitalized servicemen and women, volunteer their time or donate to their local VA facilities.

In 2019, more than 61,000 volunteers provided more than 9.2 million total volunteer hours serving Veterans through VA’s Voluntary Service. Of that, 2,900 volunteers and 520 community organizations participated in National Salute.

veteransOn Sunday, Feb. 9, a small group of students representing Antelope Hills Elementary, loaded their vehicles with Valentine’s cards and drove from Murrieta to the Loma Linda VA. The students are part of “Valentine’s for Veterans” created by Jessica Molstad, PTA President along with students and parents. Valentine’s for Veterans goal is to make, distribute and read Valentine’s cards to Veterans receiving medical care at VA Loma Linda or in the local community.

Students (4th Graders Gavin, Joseph and Cameron, 3rd Grader Marissa, and kindergartener Logan) were vibrant and excited to socialize with Veterans at their bedside. As they entered Veterans rooms, they respectfully introduced themselves “We are from Antelope Hills Elementary and we are here to give thanks to you for your service. We made you Valentine’s cards”.

Hospitalized Veterans greeted students with smiles and laughter and embraced the students with open arms, and always enjoy visitors of all ages.

It’s through efforts such as these in the local community that make the VA more than just a hospital.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to join the mission to honor the sacrifice and service of America’s Veterans during the National Salute or any time of year, visit the nearest VA facility or contact Voluntary Service at 909-583-6011.

For more information about VA Loma Linda, click here.


Image Sources

  • Visiting Veterans: Loma Linda VA
  • Visiting hospitalized veterans: Loma Linda VA
  • Valentines for Veterans: Loma Linda VA