The holidays are upon us. Christmas is just around the corner and, hopefully, you and your family are in good health and will enjoy the full measure of cheer during the season. Give thanks for the blessings that you have, and remember those who have given more for us than they could. Hospitals don’t close and the VA hospitals are filled with service members that can’t be home for the holidays. The ways to help hospitalized veterans are many and varied.
Being there to help hospitalized veterans
Sometimes the best gift you can make to help hospitalized veterans is the simplest. Being there. Visiting a VA hospital and spending time with the veterans who can’t be home during the holidays just takes your time. It doesn’t cost any money and the effects are immediate.
In some cases, being able to outwardly celebrate Christmas is difficult in a government run hospital. With the significant problems that the VA has had over the last year and a half, seeing a friendly face is worth more than money for these patients.
VA hospitals are different
When going to the hospital, most of us can count on family support. Local clinics make it easy to visit ailing family members and friends. The difference with VA hospitals is location. There are relatively few of them in existence and many of the patients are forced to be away from their home town for extended periods. Not all families can afford the money or time of spending extended periods away from home during the holidays, even when it is to help hospitalized veterans.
Loneliness and depression are common problems in hospital patients even when they have family and friends near. When forced to be apart to receive the care they need, patients at VA hospitals are more prone to these problems.
A simple, cost effective solution
This is where the rest of us come in. An advantage that VA hospitals have is that they tend to be near large population centers. You may not personally know anyone currently in the VA hospital, but if you are a veteran or family to a veteran, you can imagine the separation and loneliness that the patients are going through.
Being apart from your family is one of the many prices we paid to serve our country. Once we have completed that service, separation should not be an issue for veterans, but there are too many veterans in hospitals that need our help and our concern. To help hospitalized veterans is one small way we can repay them for the sacrifices they have already made.
A plea for help
Of the many positive traits displayed by members of the military, a stoic resolve to endure is one of the most important. There are times that just getting through the day is a victory when you are serving overseas or on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Existence is a trial that must be overcome.
Yet, once our veterans are home, they should not have to endure. They have given so much of themselves to make sure that all members of our society can do more than just get through the day. During this time of the year, making sure that our veterans don’t have to endure the VA hospitals when it is so simple to help hospitalized veterans should be on all of our Christmas lists.
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The worst part of war should not be coming home.