Public Service Recognition Week isn’t a celebration that gets a whole lot of play outside of the little bubble of Washington, D.C. In fact, even having lived here for awhile now, I’d never heard of it. So when I saw that First Lady Michelle Obama recorded a video in honor of the week, I decided to do a little more research.
Turns out one of the way public servants are recognized is through the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. There are 34 nominees for 2011, and four of them work for the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of the nominees is Dr. Batres, a Vietnam Veteran who’s worked for the Department for almost 30 years, and been at the head of the Vet Center program since 1994. Vet Centers are community based facilities that offer Veterans (and their families) stress and family counseling, career counseling, community program referrals, and outreach services. The Washington Post also did a write-up of Dr. Batres, in connection with his nomination for the Service to America award:
“It is an honor to serve fellow combat veterans and their families. It is our sacred duty to keep the promise and provide them with the best service and care possible.”