There was a presentation and luncheon to honor Veterans Thursday May 3 in Matousek Auditorium.
These Veterans, who receive their healthcare from the VA, were recognized for their successful efforts in developing healthier ways to live. Their struggles could have been gaining too much weight, substance abuse, injury, onset of an illness or disease. It didn’t matter what the barrier was, these Veterans are finding ways to make their lives, and the lives of Veterans around them, healthier and happier.
Nancy Wilke is an Occupational Therapist and she nominated multiple Veterans for recognition. “It is so rewarding to see Veterans whom you have worked with get acknowledged for their hard work in making positive changes with their health. These Veterans truly understand that each one of us holds the key to our health, and it is the choices we make that effects our health and quality of life. These Veterans are excellent role models.”
The individual stories were moving, such as one Veteran who had a stroke. It left him with Locked-In Syndrome in which he could only communicate through movement of his eyes for several weeks. In rehabilitation, this Veteran is re-learning how to eat, speak, walk, bath and transfer himself out of a power wheelchair. Throughout it all he is always asking how he can help other Veterans, in his words to “pay it forward.”
Another Veteran made rapid changes in her life in a short time. She had to figure out how to exercise more and break unhealthy eating habits, all the while being a student, employee and a grandma. Bit by bit she dropped 50 pounds and managed to get her diabetes under better control. She can now chase her grandson and this strong work ethic has carried over into landing a new job, too.
Master of ceremonies Dale Christianson, Primary Care’s Lead Social Worker, said it was a great day to spotlight the hard work put forth by patients. “It is humbling to participate in the Patient Recognition Awards Reception and witness the significant strides these Veterans have made to improve their health. On a daily basis VA Medical Center staff are working with Veterans in many different areas to make a difference. Recognizing the progress so many Veterans have made is heartwarming. Perseverance and motivation are evident in all of the stories of these Veterans. We are grateful for their service as Veterans and we appreciate their choice to seize control of their lives and make healthy choices.”
The Milwaukee VA recognized 35 of our Veteran patients at a special recognition luncheon.
Story by Brian Walker