Truman VA hospital helping veterans in and out of care get meals
COLUMBIA - Veteran's Day was created to recognize our nation's heroes who fought for the country's freedom. This Veteran's Day, the Columbia VA hospital is working to make sure veterans in and out of their care receive a free meal, a small token of gratitude for the service to their country.
The VA hospital is partnering with Applebee's to ensure veterans get a free meal this year. For patients at the hospital, Boy Scouts will deliver food from the popular restaurant chain. VA workers will also be at Columbia's Applebee's location to greet veterans who go to eat there.
VA Hospital Public Affairs Officer Stephen Gaither said the sacrifices veterans made for the country earn them recognition both big and small.
"Individuals who serve in wars often undergo great sacrifices. Some are killed and some are badly injured. Even those who leave the military unscathed have endured sacrifices such as long separations from families and putting personal lives and civilian careers on hold," Gaither said.
"Honoring Veterans is a way for Americans to offer thanks for those sacrifices," he said.
At Applebee's, veterans will be given letters written by school children thanking them for their service. VA representatives will also be available to provide general information about services the VA hospital provides.
Gaither said one of the most important parts of activities like this around Veteran's Day and all other times of the year is that it teaches future generations how to treat those in the armed forces when they return home, and it encourages them to serve their country as well.
"When the next generation sees a country that cares for its veterans, it further strengthens our country and ensures future generations of Americans will continue to routinely answer the call to serve," Gaither said.
Gaither said the most rewarding thing about the activity, which has been going on for six years, is how it brings veterans and veterans' families together.
"Many of us are veterans or family members of veterans and we enjoy the camaraderie the activity provides," Gaither said.
Veterans in the long-term care unit at the hospital will receive 40 meals in total as part of the event.