Sepulveda VA troops work hard, deserve support

first_imgThe automatic lift welded to the back of Harvey Rose’s van tells a story that often gets overlooked these days. Despite the medical cutbacks in veterans services at Sepulveda VA, the staff and volunteers there are doing a heck of a job holding the place together for our local vets. You can hate the war, Harvey says, but still support the troops. The Sepulveda VA’s own war is to end the cutbacks in services and keep the North Hills facility open and vital. The troops trying to do just that are the dedicated doctors, physical therapists, support staff and volunteers working there. I’ve heard the same sentiments from hundreds of veterans and their widows over the years. They all hate the war – the cutbacks at Sepulveda, and having to drive over the hill to the West L.A. VA for their medical appointments now. But to a man and woman, they support the troops doing the heavy lifting at Sepulveda VA. People such as Pam Murphy, widow of Medal of Honor recipient Audie Murphy, who has dedicated her life to cutting through VA red tape and making sure all vets get the services they deserve. People such as Becky James and the dozens of retired residents in the volunteer department who show up every day to do anything that’s needed – from picking up vets at their homes and bringing them to the VA or just sitting at a bedside holding a vet’s hand or reading to him. Last year, when the VA brass thanked the volunteers for the great job they were doing by cutting out the free $4.50 lunch they were given after working more than four hours a day, these people didn’t blink an eye. The volunteers kept on showing up free of charge, bringing their own lunch. They weren’t there for the free lunch. They were there for the vets. If the VA was going to be that cheap, it wasn’t their problem. People such as recreation therapist Patty Jones and physical therapist Patrick Gregario, who work so hard with so little to make sure the vets get every opportunity to succeed. Every year, Patty and Patrick field a team of local veterans 55 and older for the National Golden Age Games. And every year, our Sepulveda team brings home the lion’s share of medals in sports competitions with other VAs throughout the country. Even the VA itself bills the Golden Age Games as one of its most important programs in promoting rehabilitation, wellness and camaraderie among veterans. So it got a lot of people scratching their heads a few years ago when the brass at Sepulveda decided it didn’t have the money in the budget to help local vets without resources make the trip to participate in the games. I wrote about it, and a lot of readers were kind enough to send along a donation to help our local team out. We wound up sending a team of 22. No big surprise. The local VA says it still can’t find the money this year for a program it thinks is so important, so the guys could use our help again to get them to the games in Houston this year. Donation checks should be made out to GPF No. 2071, with Sepulveda Golden Age Game Athletes written on the memo line. Mail to Patty Jones, CTRS, (Rec. Therapy 117F), VA Medical Center, 16111 Plummer St., Sepulveda, CA 91343. Like Harvey says, you can hate the war being fought over at Sepulveda, but still support the troops. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com (818) 713-3749 They’re the heart and soul of the VA, says Harvey, a World War II vet who fought at Guadalcanal. He stopped by Sepulveda last week to see about getting a ramp to wheel his scooter up and into the van when he has to drive somewhere. At 82, Harvey’s legs are pretty shot, and he gets around these days mostly in that scooter the VA issued him. “When I asked for the ramp, they said I didn’t need one. Instead, I was told to pull my van around back. A couple of guys came out and welded on an automatic lift for me. “It’s been incredible, more than I ever expected. I’m free to go any place I want now. You know, in all the years I’ve been coming to the VA, I’ve never met a bad person,” Harvey says. “They’ve all been very gracious, going out of their way to help us veterans.” last_img read more

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DONEGAL FAMILY PRESENTS CHEQUE FROM POETRY BOOK TO ALPHA ONE FOUNDATION

first_imgPictured left to right at the cheque presentation are Laura Fee, Mary Gormley, Kitty O’Connor, Dr Tomás Carroll, Sheila Callaghan, Kieran O’Donnell, Damien O’Donnell, Mary Campbell & Liam O’DonnellMembers of the O’Donnell Family, Corkey, Manorcunningham attended the Annual Alpha One Conference in the Marino Institute of Education, Dublin recently.The family had been invited by the Alpha One team to say a few words about their late brother John and recite a few of his poems.This was in appreciation by the Alpha One Foundation to the family for giving the proceeds of their late brother John’s book of poems titled “Window to My World” to the Alpha One charity.Members of the O’Donnell family who attended were John’s sisters, Mary Campbell, Sheila Callaghan, brothers Kieran, Liam & Damien O’Donnell and neice Mary Gormley. Professor McElvaney,Professor of Medicine (RCSI) thanked the family for all their hard work in fundraising and in raising awareness of this serious lung and liver disease.Sheila Callaghan said a few words about her late brother John who died in 1987 with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.Mary Turley McGrath, Editor of the book read two poems and talked very highly of John’s talent as a poet.The O’Donnell Family presented the Alpha One Foundation Team, Dr Tomás Carroll, Chief Scientist , Kitty O’Connor CEO and Laura Fee, Clinical Research Associate with a cheque for €3,760.00 for the sale of the book and monies raised. They also handed the poetry book over to the foundation for future sales opportunities.The family have said that the book was a lot of hard work but was very much a labour of love. They feel that they have hightened awareness of this disease which was one of their main objectives at the out-set of this project. They said they could never have achieved this without the help and support of the many people involved. The O’Donnell Family would like to thank Eilish Gallagher & Holly Nedeljkovic the illustrators, Bonnie Boyce & Caroline O’Donnell for compiling the poems and Mary Turley McGrath, the Editor whose help was invaluable. All the above gave their time and resources free of charge.Sammy Wasson of Impacto Print who finished the book to such a high standard. The staff of the Resource Centre, Manorcunningham who went out of their way to accommodate the family and provide refreshments for the large crowd who attended the launch.Bank of Ireland, Letterkenny & Dunnes Stores, Oldtown for giving permission for a sales pitch of the book on their premises and all the people who gave generous donations.The success of the launch of John’s book was due to the hundreds of people who came to support it on the night from manorcunningham and the wider surrounding areas.The family were very moved by the support they got from their local community which John had loved and wrote about in many of his poems.The Book is available at Easons & Veritas in Letterkenny and also from the Alpha One Foundation at a cost of €10.00 DONEGAL FAMILY PRESENTS CHEQUE FROM POETRY BOOK TO ALPHA ONE FOUNDATION was last modified: November 10th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Alpha One FoundationChequemanorcunninghamO’Donnell familylast_img read more

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