February 14, 2012
The annual VA National Salute program began in 1978 when VA took over sponsorship of a program started in 1974 by the humanitarian organization No Greater Love, Inc. VA Voluntary Service staff plan and execute local events and activities at VA medical centers. The National Salute is observed annually during the week of Valentine's Day, a day of caring and sharing which underscore the Salute's expression of honor and appreciation to inpatient and outpatient Veterans.
For the thirty-fourth consecutive year, the nationally syndicated column started by Ann Landers, now called “Ask Annie,” has devoted a column to the National Salute, asking readers to send Valentine cards and letters to hospitalized Veterans at VA medical centers. More than a million cards and letters are sent to VA patients each year during the National Salute. VA Medical Centers in 16 major cities, including Salem, hosted “Valentines for Veterans” concerts featuring Country Music Stars and Motown legends. Television actor Mark Valley will serve as the chairman of the 2012 National Salute to Veteran Patients.
The Salem VAMC will be hosting a free concert on February 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm featuring a performance by the reigning Miss Virginia 2011 Elizabeth Crot. Also performing are Nashville recording artist Dari Cupp and many other special guests.
Please call the Voluntary Service office at 540-224-1919 to find out how you can help!