Dedicated Volunteers Serve Veterans for Decades
By Hans Petersen
This is National Volunteer Week, time to Celebrate Service. Time to salute those great men and women in every VA medical center who give of themselves to others. And time to invite everyone else to come along and discover the power of making a difference.
You’ll meet them every time you visit a VA medical center. In 2014, over 140,000 volunteers gave more than 11 million hours in service to America's Veterans.
We can’t calculate the amount of caring and sharing these VA Voluntary Service volunteers provide to Veteran patients. Our volunteers are a priceless asset to America's Veterans and to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A Volunteer for Over 50 Years
Kay Arnold, who turned 90 in February, is a classic example of unselfish service.
Katherine “Kay” Arnold has devoted her life to community and Veterans services. She was born in 1925 and has seen many social, political and technological changes, but for Kay, the wife of a World War II Veteran, the love for her country and service to those who protect it has remained strong and constant.
Since 1959 she has logged more than 50,000 hours of volunteer service at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Mass. Her role there includes Veteran adviser, management assistant counselor, patient recreation leader and a formal appointment as the VA Voluntary Service Representative for American Ex-Prisoners of War.
She has also worked with the Veterans Benefits Administration office directing Veterans seeking treatment, services, and benefits to the proper agencies and offices.
As Arnold puts it, “The Veterans appreciate it. You give back.”
“She keeps going. She’s like that commercial with the bunny,” said one Veteran. “There’s a lot to get done in the world and you don’t get it done by sitting on a couch. You go out and do things, and she’s been doing them.”
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”— Ghandi
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