2020-2021 National Hospital Ambassador
MIA: Locate and Love
For today consider that MIA is not “Missing in Action,” but as it applies to our Hospital Program, stands for “Missing in America.” It’s easy to find something if it’s right where you think it’s going to be. A timely example would be the upcoming Easter holiday: If the beautifully painted eggs are right in the basket on the kitchen table, they’re nice and all, but the fun of hunting and finding those little treasures is lost.
Most of us have taken to looking for and finding our veteran patients right where we know they are going to be – at the VA Hospitals, CLC’s and veterans homes we serve. Did you know, however, that most of our veterans receiving long-term care are NOT in a VA facility? NOPE. Most are right around the corner from you in your LOCAL nursing homes, convalescent centers and assisted living facilities. Most of our veterans in long-term care never see a person from the VFW Auxiliary’s Hospital Program because they are not where WE are used to finding them.
For a new season, Spring, lets reclaim our veterans Missing in America:
- Develop a visitation schedule or program plan for a local facility’s veteran patients.
- Contact your local nursing home.
- Contact your local memory care/convalescent center.
- Contact your neighborhood assisted living and/or S.H.A.G. housing complex.
- Involve Auxiliary members who are too far from a VA facility to volunteer there (they are not too far from their own local nursing homes!)
Most of these places have an activities director who is going to be your new best friend. The activities director will help you estimate how many veterans they have in their facility, and what kinds of patriotic programs they’d like you to host (think Flag Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Memorial Day, you get the picture…). All residents would benefit from our visits and are encouraged to take part but make a special fuss over the veteran residents! If all your Auxiliary has ever done for their Hospital Program is to “tote donations to Convention” to hand off to someone who lives closer to the VA Hospital, this is YOUR TIME TO SHINE!
Don’t Forget to BRAG
Too often we forget to jump up and claim the totally wicked cool stuff we do! Be humble, show humility… blah…blah…blah…That’s for WALLFLOWERS! We do what we do because we love those we serve; that’s the truth. Most people do it without ever having the need or desire for recognition. But I want you to think a bit differently; if we don’t shine the light on what we are doing, who will pick up the torch and run with it once our time is through? Who will love and support our veteran patients when we’re gone? It’s important to BRAG:
- Recognition and
When we bring recognition to our Hospital Program, it keeps our hospitalized and infirmed veterans right in the forefront of people’s minds and hearts. And, when we accept gratitude, it makes the receiver of our gifts of love and advocacy, part of the process. It makes them feel less dependent and more of a co-owner. Love is give and take; let them give thanks and accept graciously their gratitude. Often, it is the only place wherein they feel they still have some control or something to contribute. (Maybe this applies to all of life too…)
- 72-hour ER/Urgent Care Phone Notification: 844-72HRVHA (844-724-7842)