Veterans celebrating Independence Day across America

Virtually every possible variation on a holiday


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Veterans are celebrating Independence Day at VA medical centers across America. Below is a snapshot of some of the activities.


A tiny horse participates in the VA Western Colorado Health Care System Memorial Day parade.

Colorado

Nurses at the Community Living Center at the VA Western Colorado Health Care System, Grand Junction, Colorado, came up with a creative Memorial Day parade that started with just the families of the Veterans driving by in their cars due to not being able to visit because of COVID. It quickly became a 40-car parade with antique cars, motorcycles, fire departments, Cooties and tiny horses. It was such a success, they’re doing it again for July 4.

Kayla Holst, director of Communication and Community Development at the VA Western Colorado Health Care System, said she anticipates an even larger parade for July 4.


Louisiana

The Overton Brooks VA in Shreveport, Louisiana, had a full day of activities including an American flag drive through, a Vietnam Veteran lapel pin presentation, accepting food for homeless Veterans and a local restaurant donating proceeds from the hot dogs and hamburgers to Veteran programs.

Their slogan: Observing Independence Day Together…As Best We Can!


The Martinsburg VA Medical Center is having a parade of family members for their CLC Veterans.

West Virginia

The Martinsburg VA Medical Center in West Virginia is having a parade of family members for their CLC Veterans. Some family members are coming from Delaware and Florida. Other than Skype, the Veterans haven’t seen their families since February.


The Pittsburgh VAMC will have about 10-12 Vintage WW2 Jeeps parked outside for an hour.

Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh VAMC will have 10-12 Vintage WW2 Jeeps parked outside for an hour. Drivers will wear vintage uniforms (but will stay in their vehicle because of COVID-19). Veteran inpatients will be able to see from windows. Some will be brought outside to “tour” (in a socially distancing fashion).

 


The Washington, D.C., medical center will observe the 10th anniversary of the VA2K Walk & Roll.

Washington, D.C.

This year would be the 10th anniversary of the VA2K Walk & Roll, the Employee Whole Health initiative that encourages personal fitness and support for homeless Veterans.

“It’s such a fun event and a really good cause. We hated to cancel it so, we’ve made it a virtual event instead” said Kim Ezell, the Washington, D.C., medical center’s Health Promotion and Disease Prevention coordinator. Employees and Veterans are invited to walk 10,000 steps during the 4th of July weekend, and to snap a selfie to post to your personal social media using the hashtag #VirtualVA2K.


Young man writing a letter

Bedford VAMC’s Veteran peer specialists will host the social with holiday themed trivia and letter writing for hospitalized Veterans.

Massachusetts

At VA New England, the Bedford VA Medical Center in Bedford, Massachusetts, will connect with Veterans virtually with a special Fourth of July coffee social. Bedford VAMC’s Veteran peer specialists will host the social with holiday themed trivia and letter writing for hospitalized Veterans.

“Our Fourth of July celebration will be fun and festive. We’re going to take a moment to take pride with our fellow Veterans in knowing that we answered our nation’s call to serve in protecting our country’s independence.” – Jessica Mack, VA Veteran peer support specialist and Air Force Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

 

 


Shannon Arledge, Sarah M. Tolstyka, Shelley Nulph, Sarah H. Cox and John Paradis contributed to this story.

Author

Hans Petersen

Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.

Comments

  1. fz    

    Covid19 has actually makes independence day not celebrated.

  2. Mark Smith    

    Though Covid-19 has not been eradicated but i love their creativity with the cars and that tiny horse is just so cute. This memorial day parade is one that won’t be forgotten in a long time. Thanks.

  3. jeremiah gill    

    independence day is not celebrated due to coronavirus

  4. George Alan Murrow    

    I’m 62 yr old 70% service connected Disabled Veteran of the Army .
    Wish America Peace in our Valley. As we celebrate our 244th birthday . Get on board our Peace Train giving tickets free to everyone.. Look soon coming to a town or city.near you. And no it won’t slow down as we wind down this road. We are so read
    y for you n I can start this Peace we all so desire.
    Peace Out,
    General B.T. Hope / pastor.n creator of. The Hobo Univercity’s Missions for Jesus

  5. Clyde E Duncan    

    VA help is totally worthless.

  6. Clyde E Duncan    

    All this information on neat and great events ? But where is the Mental Health ? I Try to contact the VA but no one calls back ! There is NO HELP ….

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