The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Salute is observed annually during the week of Valentine's Day, a day of caring and sharing which underscores the Salute's expression of honor and appreciation to inpatient and outpatient veterans. This year’s observance for National Salute to Veteran Patients will be Feb. 10-16. 

The public, including veteran groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, dignitaries and the media are invited to visit veteran patients at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee and Ernest Childers VA Outpatient Clinic in Tulsa.

Every citizen can make a positive difference in the life of a veteran patient. Visits from community groups do so much to lift the spirits of our patients.

The purpose of VA’s National Salute Week is to pay tribute and express appreciation to veterans; increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center; and encourage citizens to become involved as volunteers.

“VA values the contributions of our volunteers, donors and partners in helping us keep the nation’s promise to our Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These community resources confirm to America’s Veterans that we are a nation that cares and remembers their sacrifices every day.”

To schedule a visit or learn about volunteer opportunities, contact Voluntary Service at (918) 577-3621 or (918) 577-3622.

National Salute Program

scheduled for Feb. 14

The public is also invited to attend a National Salute to Veteran Patients Program on Feb. 14 at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.

The program will be held at 2 p.m. in the Chapel. Featured speaker will be Master Sgt. (Ret.) William “Spanky” Gibson, Jr. On May 16, 2006, Gibson was leading a squad of Marines in Ramadi, Iraqi on a house-to-house search for insurgents when a sniper’s bullet ripped through his left knee. The bullet completely shattered his knee and doctors were forced to amputate his left leg to save his life.

Despite losing a leg, Gibson stayed positive and set the ambitious goal of returning to Iraq. After several surgeries and rigorous rehabilitation, Gibson deployed to Iraq in February 2008 and made history by becoming the first above-the-knee amputee to return to combat.

Light refreshments will be served. The Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center is located at 1011 Honor Heights Dr. 

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