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National Salute to Veteran Patients Week
February 11 @ 8:00 am – February 17 @ 5:00 pm
The National Salute to Veteran Patients takes place during the week of February 14 every year. This year, it takes place from February 11 to 17. The purpose of the holiday is to honor and pay tribute to the brave military veterans who receive medical care at Veterans Affairs (V.A.) medical facilities. The holiday also seeks to create more awareness about the importance of these centers and encourage more people to visit and volunteer.
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, there are three main reasons behind the creation of this holiday, which are — to pay tribute to veterans, to encourage people to visit and volunteer their services to veteran medical centers, and finally, to increase community awareness about the role of the V.A medical centers.
Nearly 100,000 veterans are cared for every day in VA medical centers, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes, approximately nine million veterans annually. These centers are run by the Veterans Health Administration (V.H.A), which is the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. There are over 1,200 facilities run by the V.H.A, 171 of which are V.A. medical centers. In addition to this, there are also 1,112 outpatient centers as well. These statistics underscore the need for more helping hands in the program.
V.H.A medical centers offer a wide range of medical services to patients. These services include orthopedics, mental health care, surgery, critical care, radiology, pharmacy, physical therapy, speech pathology, neurology, and much more.
During the week, a host of activities to create awareness take place at various centers, such as recreational activities, Valentine’s gifting, and school visits. This year, make it a point of duty to celebrate and appreciate the veterans whose selfless service has contributed to the safety and peace of our country.