Archives for May 2014

Secretary Shinseki’s Farewell Message to VA Employees








Secretary Shinseki’s Farewell Message to VA Employees

May 30, 2014





Printable Version




This morning, I resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. My personal and professional commitment and my loyalty to Veterans, their families, and our survivors was the driving force behind that decision. That loyalty has never wavered, and it will never wane.


Over the course of the last five-and-a-half years, you have made significant and lasting progress in expanding access for Veterans, in significantly decreasing the backlog in Veterans’ claims while building the system that will end the backlog in 2015, and in bringing an end to Veterans’ homelessness. We have come a long way together in bringing this Department into the 21st Century in ways that will serve Veterans well into the future. Yet, there is more work to be done, and I have no doubt that you will achieve all that you set about doing in the interest of Veterans.


I have been privileged to have served as your Secretary and am deeply grateful to the employees and leaders who have placed the interests of Veterans above and beyond their own self-interests; who are serving with dignity, compassion, and dedication; and who live by VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. I know that you will provide your support and loyalty to Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson, who is now your leader. In fact, I expect it.


Thank you. May God richly bless all of you, Veterans, and this great country of ours.


Eric K. Shinseki




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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2547

Secretary Shinseki’s Farewell Message to VA Employees








Secretary Shinseki’s Farewell Message to VA Employees

May 30, 2014





Printable Version




This morning, I resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. My personal and professional commitment and my loyalty to Veterans, their families, and our survivors was the driving force behind that decision. That loyalty has never wavered, and it will never wane.


Over the course of the last five-and-a-half years, you have made significant and lasting progress in expanding access for Veterans, in significantly decreasing the backlog in Veterans’ claims while building the system that will end the backlog in 2015, and in bringing an end to Veterans’ homelessness. We have come a long way together in bringing this Department into the 21st Century in ways that will serve Veterans well into the future. Yet, there is more work to be done, and I have no doubt that you will achieve all that you set about doing in the interest of Veterans.


I have been privileged to have served as your Secretary and am deeply grateful to the employees and leaders who have placed the interests of Veterans above and beyond their own self-interests; who are serving with dignity, compassion, and dedication; and who live by VA’s core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence. I know that you will provide your support and loyalty to Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson, who is now your leader. In fact, I expect it.


Thank you. May God richly bless all of you, Veterans, and this great country of ours.


Eric K. Shinseki




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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2547

VA Makes Land Purchase for New National Cemetery in Western New York








VA Makes Land Purchase for New National Cemetery in Western New York

May 30, 2014





Printable Version




WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has purchased land in New York for a new national cemetery in the Buffalo – Rochester area of Western New York.


VA plans to construct the cemetery in Pembroke, N.Y., on a 132-acre property located at 1232 Indian Falls Road. The property has access off Exit #48A from the I-90 NY Thruway. The facility will serve more than 96,000 Veterans and family members within a 75-mile radius of the property. The closest national cemetery is Bath National Cemetery in Bath, N.Y., about 86 miles away.


“We are pleased to expand access to burial service to Veterans and their families in New York State,” said Steve L. Muro, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. “Acquiring the land is a key step forward in the process.”


VA completed the land purchase on May 30, 2014, for $625,000. The property consists of unimproved farmland and undeveloped vacant and wooded land.


VA anticipates awarding a contract to begin the 24-month cemetery master planning and design period later this year. A construction contract will be awarded after the design phase is completed and VA receives construction funds.


National cemetery construction projects typically require 24-30 months to complete, with early-use burial areas made available approximately 12 months after the start of construction work.


The first full phase of construction will include the development of cemetery roads, an entrance, administration and public information center, committal shelters and a maintenance facility. This infrastructure will support approximately the first 10 years of burial capacity for casket gravesites, cremation sites and columbarium niches.


This will be the sixth VA national cemetery in New York. The other five are Bath, Woodlawn, Gerald B. Solomon Saratoga, Calverton and Long Island. There are no state Veterans Cemeteries in New York.


Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery. Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents. Burial benefits available for all eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker.


In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites. More than 3.8 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries.


Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000. To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.


###




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The 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion



Portrait of an elderly man

When the war broke out, “I went right down and signed up.”










70 Years Ago


The Normandy landings, on D-Day, June 6, 1944, launched the invasion of German-occupied Western Europe and began the Allied victory in the war. Robert Royce was one of the 160,000 troops who were there.


“One of the Lucky Ones”


What may seem like a bunch of random numbers to some, 15354258 rolls off the tongue of Army Air Corps Veteran Robert Royce with ease, even now, over 70 years later.


He recites the numbers with pride. For it was these numbers, Royce’s enlistment number, that set his life on a path that would never be the same again.


Royce remembers the pride he felt the first time he looked in the mirror and saw himself in uniform. “It was the first time I felt like a man,” Royce recalled. That was December 2, 1942. Royce was 18 years old. Now, 70 years later, Royce said he would enlist all over again, if he could.


“I’m so glad I joined the war effort,” Royce said. “Most days I didn’t think I would make it through the day,” he explained. “I was there for the Battle of the Bulge and for the Normandy invasion. So many deaths,” he said shaking his head. “I’ve always asked myself, why me? All of these guys, young guys…18, 19 years old, they didn’t get to go on and live their lives and have families. I always wondered how I got to be so lucky,” Royce said.


He’s carried this gratitude for life with him, like a badge of honor, and it has had an impact on every part of his life. He sees challenges as opportunities and he has nothing but love in his heart for all of mankind.


Royce was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. When the war broke out, he was eager to enlist. “I wanted to be where the action is,” Royce recalled. “I went right down and signed up. My dad told me to get a job working on airplanes, thinking it would be safer for me so that’s what I did. I don’t know how much safer it was — I ended up moving with the infantry and being so close to the front lines that I could hear the constant shelling and bombings,” Royce said.


“We were under attack at all times. I was one of the lucky ones, though, I made it back. When our boats arrived at the New York Harbor at the end of the war, we were told we were being discharged at the convenience of the government and we could now go home. And that’s what we did.”



Elderly man standing with a poster of Uncle Sam

“I would tell today’s Veterans, to get involved with something that matters to you and stay active.”


Found Employment with GI Bill Courses


Soon after Royce was discharged in 1945, he went to the local VA and enrolled for benefits. “VA has always looked out for me,” Royce said. “I like to think of VA as my big brother — it has been there for me.


“Besides getting my health care at VA for the past 65 years, I also used the GI Bill and took courses in air conditioning, refrigeration, carpentry, electricity and plumbing. I was able to find employment and support my family, thanks to the GI Bill,” Royce said. “All in all, the military and the VA have taken care of me and it makes me proud that I was able to serve this country,” Royce said.


(Another important anniversary this month is the 70th Anniversary of the GI Bill. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law on June 22, 1944.)


 VA has taken care of me and makes me proud that I was able to serve this country. 


Royce thinks that today’s troops returning from war and leaving the service don’t have it as good as he did upon returning from Europe after WWII.


“There were more jobs after the war than there were people to fill them,” Royce recalled. “You could find work doing just about anything you wanted to do back then. To those Veterans returning today, I would tell them not to isolate themselves. That can be dangerous. Get involved with something that matters to you and stay active. There are people all over that will help, if you only ask.”


When Royce moved to Gulfport, Mississippi, in the mid-90s, he joined the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in Biloxi. He’s a member of the Gold Team and he has nothing but praise for his health care team.


Royce maintains his youth through daily exercise, a sensible diet and an active social life. He rides his bike every day, enjoys stretch classes and gets out on the dance floor every chance he gets. He has three daughters and two grandchildren. Royce looks forward to celebrating his 90th birthday this June.


“I’m still enjoying the benefits of my service by being able to live in such a beautiful place,” Royce said. He’s alternated living at the Soldier’s Home in Washington, DC and at the old Naval Home in Gulfport, Miss. “It’s peaceful living and they have everything I could possibly want here. I am blessed to have such a life.”






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/May/The-70th-Anniversary-of-the-D-Day-Invasion.asp

Statement by VA Secretary Shinseki on the VA OIG Interim Report regarding the Phoenix VA Health Care System








Statement by VA Secretary Shinseki on the VA OIG Interim Report regarding the Phoenix VA Health Care System

May 28, 2014





Printable Version




“I respect the independent review and recommendations of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding systemic issues with patient scheduling and access. I have reviewed the interim report, and the findings are reprehensible to me, to this Department, and to Veterans.  I am directing that the Phoenix VA Health Care System (VAHCS) immediately triage each of the 1,700 Veterans identified by the OIG to bring them timely care.


“I have already placed the Phoenix VAHCS leadership on administrative leave, and have directed an independent site team to assess scheduling and administrative practices at the Phoenix VAHCS. This team began their work in April, and we are already taking action on multiple recommendations from this report.


“We will aggressively and fully implement the remaining OIG recommendations to ensure that we contact every single Veteran identified by the OIG.   I have directed the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to complete a nation-wide access review to ensure a full understanding of VA’s policy and continued integrity in managing patient access to care.  Further, we are accelerating access to care throughout our system and in communities where Veterans reside. 


“It is important to allow OIG’s independent and objective review to proceed until completion.  OIG has requested that VA take no additional personnel actions in Phoenix until their review is complete.”                                                                        


# # #




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VHA Benefits Goal: Preserving Your Good Health



A doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the heart of a Vietnam Veteran

 











You served your country. Now let us serve you.


VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package offers care and services that are designed to:


  • Promote good health
  • Preserve your current health
  • Restore you to better health

This includes treating illnesses and injuries, preventing future health problems, improving functional abilities and enhancing quality of life.


VA provides a full spectrum of medical services, based on the recommendations of your VA primary care provider. These services include:


  • Primary Care
  • Health Promotion
  • Disease Prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Palliative Care
  • Surgery
  • Prescriptions For Medications
  • Critical Care
  • Mental Health Care
  • Women’s Health Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Radiology
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation

Easy Steps through the Application Process


The very first step in obtaining access to VA health care benefits is to apply:


  • You may complete an application online at www.1010ez.med.va.gov.
  • You may complete an application in person at any VA medical facility where eligibility personnel are available to answer your questions.
  • You may call VA toll-free at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) to complete the application over the phone.
  • You may pick up an application at your local VA, complete the application and mail it to: Health Eligibility Center 2957 Clairmont Road, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30329-1647

Before you apply, you may want to read more about VA’s health benefits on VA’s Health Benefits website which provides the latest information on VA health care services, providing tools to help you determine how, where and at what cost you can receive care and offering Veterans who are not already enrolled an opportunity to apply.


Once your application is successfully processed, VA will notify you of your enrollment priority group assignment and whether you are enrolled.


If enrolled, VA will send you a personalized Veterans Health Benefits Handbook, which will detail your assigned enrollment priority group, the VA health benefits you are eligible for and will provide important information concerning your access to VA health care.


The Health Benefits Handbook is designed to help you and your family understand VA’s health care system.


Guide to Understanding the VA Health Care System


The Veterans Health Benefits Handbook is designed to provide Veterans and their families with the information they need to understand VA’s health care system: eligibility requirements, the enrollment process, enrollment priority groups, copayments that certain Veterans may be charged and the health benefits and services available to Veterans.


Additionally, in the handbook you will find helpful information about My HealtheVet, creditable coverage for Medicare Part D, income verification and much more.


Health Benefits Are Different for Each Veteran


While all enrolled Veterans enjoy access to VA’s comprehensive medical benefits package, certain benefits (for example, dental care) may vary from individual to individual and depending on each Veteran’s unique eligibility status.


The mission of the VA health care system is to serve Veterans by providing the highest-quality health care available anywhere in the world.


America’s Veterans and their families deserve nothing less.






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/May/VHA-Benefits-Goal-Preserving-Your-Good-Health.asp

America’s VA Medical Centers Mark Memorial Day



A girl places a USA flag by a soldier's grave marker

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” President John F. Kennedy










Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it was originally designed to commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War. Today, Memorial Day has been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.


VA Medical Centers across the nation mark the day in many ways. Here are just a few.



Three Veterans stand by some ornate columns

Co-Chairs of the Veterans Advocacy Council, (left to right), Air Force Veteran Anthony J. Williams, Army Veteran Harbell Ford and Peer Specialist Army Veteran Anthony Stamatorous at The Pavilion in New York City that provided a pre-Memorial Day luncheon for 75 out-patients.


New York City


VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan Campus held a great Pre-Memorial Day Appreciation Luncheon for 75 Veterans in their Clubhouse Psychosocial Mental Health program on May 22.


On holidays, a feast is usually prepared by staff and Volunteers in-house. For this Memorial Day, it was provided by a neighborhood organization called the Union Square Partnership and was prepared by The Pavilion, a restaurant housed in a landmark NYC Department of Parks Building at Union Square Park.


The event included a Veterans appreciation ceremony and also served as a one-year celebration, marking a return to normalcy following the devastation to the hospital caused by Super Storm Sandy.


Flood damage to VA’s Manhattan campus required the temporary displacement of all hospital services to other Harbor facilities for months.



An elderly Veteran sitting at a table takes a program from a woman

Bataan Death March survivor Glenn Frazier, 92, signs autograph at Memorial Day event in Mississippi


Jackson, Mississippi


On Monday, May 19, the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, hosted and honored ten Veterans who are:


  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Tuskegee Airmen
  • Navajo Code Talkers
  • Ex-POWs
  • Pearl Harbor survivors

The Veterans were in Jackson as part of the Trail of Honor event. Over 300 people attended the short ceremony after which the honored guests signed autographs. The Trail of Honor is in its 12th year and started out as a stop for the riders on their way to DC to visit the Vietnam Wall. It is now a popular four-day event which features historically accurate demonstrations of military life on a walking trail through history. It drew over 30,000 visitors last year.



engraved black granite stones stand outside a medical center building

Northport, New York


The VA Medical Center in Northport, New York, will begin the Memorial Day Weekend with the dedication of the Wall of Wars Memorial.


After almost two years of hard work and deliberation, four tons of black granite stones laser etched with imagery from American wars came together in 2011 to form Northport VAMC’s Wall of Wars monument. After seeing the beautiful imagery of the first stone placed, the Vietnam War panel, others were quickly sponsored by generous and patriotic donors across Long Island. In January 2014, the last of 12 stones were placed. Now the monument stands as a lasting tribute to the men and women who fought for our nation’s independence and freedom.


The memorial is a gift of Chapter 11 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Disabled American Veterans, and Northport VAMC community partners and friends. All four Long Island Congressional representatives will be speaking at the May 23 dedication and the National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans will attend.


 We will not forget them, as those whom we hold dear remain forever in our hearts. 


Moment of Remembrance


Please join those of us from VA and Americans everywhere for the Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. During that moment, individuals across the U.S. will pause for one minute, in unity and gratitude, for those who have given their lives in service to our Nation.


With cherished memories, we will not forget them, as those whom we hold dear remain forever in our hearts.


For the dates and times of Memorial Day weekend programs at VA national cemeteries, visit the National Cemetery Administration’s site.






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/May/Americas-VA-Medical-Centers-Mark-Memorial-Day.asp

America’s VA Medical Centers Mark Memorial Day



A girl places a USA flag by a soldier's grave marker

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” President John F. Kennedy










Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it was originally designed to commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War. Today, Memorial Day has been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.


VA Medical Centers across the nation mark the day in many ways. Here are just a few.



Three Veterans stand by some ornate columns

Co-Chairs of the Veterans Advocacy Council, (left to right), Air Force Veteran Anthony J. Williams, Army Veteran Harbell Ford and Peer Specialist Army Veteran Anthony Stamatorous at The Pavilion in New York City that provided a pre-Memorial Day luncheon for 75 out-patients.


New York City


VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan Campus held a great Pre-Memorial Day Appreciation Luncheon for 75 Veterans in their Clubhouse Psychosocial Mental Health program on May 22.


On holidays, a feast is usually prepared by staff and Volunteers in-house. For this Memorial Day, it was provided by a neighborhood organization called the Union Square Partnership and was prepared by The Pavilion, a restaurant housed in a landmark NYC Department of Parks Building at Union Square Park.


The event included a Veterans appreciation ceremony and also served as a one-year celebration, marking a return to normalcy following the devastation to the hospital caused by Super Storm Sandy.


Flood damage to VA’s Manhattan campus required the temporary displacement of all hospital services to other Harbor facilities for months.



An elderly Veteran sitting at a table takes a program from a woman

Bataan Death March survivor Glenn Frazier, 92, signs autograph at Memorial Day event in Mississippi


Jackson, Mississippi


On Monday, May 19, the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, hosted and honored ten Veterans who are:


  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Tuskegee Airmen
  • Navajo Code Talkers
  • Ex-POWs
  • Pearl Harbor survivors

The Veterans were in Jackson as part of the Trail of Honor event. Over 300 people attended the short ceremony after which the honored guests signed autographs. The Trail of Honor is in its 12th year and started out as a stop for the riders on their way to DC to visit the Vietnam Wall. It is now a popular four-day event which features historically accurate demonstrations of military life on a walking trail through history. It drew over 30,000 visitors last year.



engraved black granite stones stand outside a medical center building

Northport, New York


The VA Medical Center in Northport, New York, will begin the Memorial Day Weekend with the dedication of the Wall of Wars Memorial.


After almost two years of hard work and deliberation, four tons of black granite stones laser etched with imagery from American wars came together in 2011 to form Northport VAMC’s Wall of Wars monument. After seeing the beautiful imagery of the first stone placed, the Vietnam War panel, others were quickly sponsored by generous and patriotic donors across Long Island. In January 2014, the last of 12 stones were placed. Now the monument stands as a lasting tribute to the men and women who fought for our nation’s independence and freedom.


The memorial is a gift of Chapter 11 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Disabled American Veterans, and Northport VAMC community partners and friends. All four Long Island Congressional representatives will be speaking at the May 23 dedication and the National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans will attend.


 We will not forget them, as those whom we hold dear remain forever in our hearts. 


Moment of Remembrance


Please join those of us from VA and Americans everywhere for the Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. During that moment, individuals across the U.S. will pause for one minute, in unity and gratitude, for those who have given their lives in service to our Nation.


With cherished memories, we will not forget them, as those whom we hold dear remain forever in our hearts.


For the dates and times of Memorial Day weekend programs at VA national cemeteries, visit the National Cemetery Administration’s site.






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/May/Americas-VA-Medical-Centers-Mark-Memorial-Day.asp

VA Receives Donation for New Yellowstone National Cemetery








VA Receives Donation for New Yellowstone National Cemetery

May 26, 2014





Printable Version




 The New National Cemetery Will Keep Veterans in Rural Montana Close to their Homes


WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received a donation of property in Yellowstone County for the new Yellowstone National Cemetery, Montana, which will be dedicated in a Memorial Day Ceremony on May 26, 2014. 


“We are pleased to expand burial service to Veterans and their families in Montana,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Yellowstone National Cemetery will help us reach Veterans in the rural parts of Montana who have not previously had reasonable access to a national or State Veterans Cemetery.” 


VA’s National Cemetery Administration will begin burial operations at Yellowstone National Cemetery on May 26, 2014.  Effective May 26, Veterans and family members who wish to schedule an interment or inurnment at the cemetery should call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800 535-1117.  VA will manage committal services for burials that were previously scheduled by the City of Laurel, Mont.    


The property, formerly known as “Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery,” is 10.64 acres and located at 55 Buffalo Trail Road, City of Laurel, Mont.  The property was donated by Yellowstone County on May 23, 2014.  


This new national cemetery is part of VA’s Rural Initiative and will serve an estimated Veteran population of 17,567 within a 75-mile radius of their homes.  There are three VA-funded state Veterans cemeteries in Montana located in Helena, Miles City, and Missoula.  There is one non-VA funded state cemetery in Columbia Falls, Mont.      


VA’s Rural Initiative is aimed at providing burial access for Veterans not currently served by a burial option at either a VA-funded State cemetery or national cemetery. Other burial grounds are planned to serve Veterans in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Utah, Maine, Idaho and Nevada. 


Veterans with a qualifying discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children may be buried in a VA national cemetery.  Also eligible are military personnel who die on active duty, their spouses and eligible dependents.  Burial benefits are available for all eligible Veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national cemetery or a private cemetery, include a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker.


In the midst of the largest expansion since the Civil War, VA operates 131 national cemeteries, and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites in 40 states and Puerto Rico.  Yellowstone National Cemetery is the first of 8 new national Veterans burial grounds authorized by Congress.  More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries.


Information on VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.  To make burial arrangements at any VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.


###




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Source Article from http://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/PressArtInternet.cfm?id=2544

America’s VA Medical Centers Mark Memorial Day



A girl places a USA flag by a soldier's grave marker

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” President John F. Kennedy










Memorial Day is a time to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it was originally designed to commemorate the soldiers who died in the Civil War. Today, Memorial Day has been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service.


VA Medical Centers across the nation mark the day in many ways. Here are just a few.



Three Veterans stand by some ornate columns

Co-Chairs of the Veterans Advocacy Council, (left to right), Air Force Veteran Anthony J. Williams, Army Veteran Harbell Ford and Peer Specialist Army Veteran Anthony Stamatorous at The Pavilion in New York City that provided a pre-Memorial Day luncheon for 75 out-patients.


New York City


VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan Campus held a great Pre-Memorial Day Appreciation Luncheon for 75 Veterans in their Clubhouse Psychosocial Mental Health program on May 22.


On holidays, a feast is usually prepared by staff and Volunteers in-house. For this Memorial Day, it was provided by a neighborhood organization called the Union Square Partnership and was prepared by The Pavilion, a restaurant housed in a landmark NYC Department of Parks Building at Union Square Park.


The event included a Veterans appreciation ceremony and also served as a one-year celebration, marking a return to normalcy following the devastation to the hospital caused by Super Storm Sandy.


Flood damage to VA’s Manhattan campus required the temporary displacement of all hospital services to other Harbor facilities for months.



An elderly Veteran sitting at a table takes a program from a woman

Bataan Death March survivor Glenn Frazier, 92, signs autograph at Memorial Day event in Mississippi


Jackson, Mississippi


On Monday, May 19, the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, hosted and honored ten Veterans who are:


  • Medal of Honor recipients
  • Tuskegee Airmen
  • Navajo Code Talkers
  • Ex-POWs
  • Pearl Harbor survivors

The Veterans were in Jackson as part of the Trail of Honor event. Over 300 people attended the short ceremony after which the honored guests signed autographs. The Trail of Honor is in its 12th year and started out as a stop for the riders on their way to DC to visit the Vietnam Wall. It is now a popular four-day event which features historically accurate demonstrations of military life on a walking trail through history. It drew over 30,000 visitors last year.



engraved black granite stones stand outside a medical center building

Northport, New York


The VA Medical Center in Northport, New York, will begin the Memorial Day Weekend with the dedication of the Wall of Wars Memorial.


After almost two years of hard work and deliberation, four tons of black granite stones laser etched with imagery from American wars came together in 2011 to form Northport VAMC’s Wall of Wars monument. After seeing the beautiful imagery of the first stone placed, the Vietnam War panel, others were quickly sponsored by generous and patriotic donors across Long Island. In January 2014, the last of 12 stones were placed. Now the monument stands as a lasting tribute to the men and women who fought for our nation’s independence and freedom.


The memorial is a gift of Chapter 11 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Disabled American Veterans, and Northport VAMC community partners and friends. All four Long Island Congressional representatives will be speaking at the May 23 dedication and the National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans will attend.


 We will not forget them, as those whom we hold dear remain forever in our hearts. 


Moment of Remembrance


Please join those of us from VA and Americans everywhere for the Memorial Day National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. During that moment, individuals across the U.S. will pause for one minute, in unity and gratitude, for those who have given their lives in service to our Nation.


With cherished memories, we will not forget them, as those whom we hold dear remain forever in our hearts.


For the dates and times of Memorial Day weekend programs at VA national cemeteries, visit the National Cemetery Administration’s site.






Source Article from http://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/2014/May/Americas-VA-Medical-Centers-Mark-Memorial-Day.asp


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