VA honors veterans during National
Salute to Veteran Patients week Feb. 10-16
|TOMAH, Wis. (Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center) —
The Tomah Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center invites the
public to participate as it hosts a week of special activities to honor
its veterans from Feb. 10-16, during the 2013 National Salute to Veteran
“The National Salute to Veteran Patients is a great opportunity to
remind our nation’s heroes that their contribution to our country is not
forgotten,” said Tomah VA Medical Center Director Mario DeSanctis.
“We’ve invited local celebrities, school children and other groups to
visit during the week. We want people of all ages to bring Valentine’s
Day cheer to our patients.”
DeSanctis said he hopes visitors also will learn more about the
important roles volunteers play at the medical center throughout the
year and perhaps pursue volunteer opportunities.
“Our medical center’s 375 volunteers are an important part of our health
care team, and the National Salute program is a great way for people to
learn more about helping the veterans we serve here at the medical
center,” said DeSanctis. “Visitors are surprised at how varied our
volunteer opportunities are.”
People of all ages once again are sending Valentine’s Day cards and
letters to VA medical centers simply addressed, “Dear Veteran.”
DeSanctis said they are being distributed to patients throughout the
One of the most-impressive events of the week is the Veterans’ Art
Exhibit, which also is open to the public. Entries include works of
sculpture, painting, wood working, ceramics, and needlework, to name a
All of the art is made by veterans receiving care at the Tomah VA or the
medical center’s outpatient clinics. The art is on display Tuesday
through Thursday (Feb. 12-14) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and special evening
hours Wednesday, Feb. 13, being open until 6:30 p.m. The display will be
in building 407, room 1724.
On Feb. 14, veterans with a passion for the performing arts (music,
dance, drama and creative writing) will present their entries in the
annual performing arts competition.
Interested individuals can attend the competition and encourage veterans
as they enter a large variety of songs, essays, skits and dance.
The competition begins at 9 a.m. in the Midway, building 406, room 1655.
Spectators are welcome.
Veterans receiving care at the Tomah VA or any of the Tomah VA’s
Outpatient Clinics can enter either competition. For more information,
call Tomah VA’s Voluntary Service office at 608-372-1727.
Both the art exhibit and the performing arts competition are the first
round in the annual Creative Arts Festival competition, with winners
advancing to the national competition and a chance at an invitation to
the 2013 National Veterans Creative Arts Festival hosted by the Reno,
Nev., VA Medical Center in October.
The National Salute Week schedule includes a variety of special
activities for the patients such as bingo games, movies, “Afternoon at
the Races” parties, and a bowling tournament. A Valentine’s Dance is
planned; Miss Wisconsin will visit for a day; a Valentine’s cake will be
served by the Cranberry Royalty, and ambassadors from the Tomah Area
Chamber of Commerce will visit veterans.
Individuals or groups wishing to participate in the medical center
program can call the Voluntary Service office, 608-372-1727.