VA Secretary Hits the Road to Highlight "United We Serve" Effort
Shinseki Encourages Veterans, Families to Help Their Communities
WASHINGTON (June 22, 2009) – Heeding President Obama's call for
Americans to commit themselves to meaningful, long-term service to their
communities as part of the "United We Serve" campaign, Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki spent part of his morning today
transporting patients to the Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center.
"We, who enjoy liberty's blessings, will forever remain in debt of the
men and women who served our nation in uniform," Secretary Shinseki
said. "Volunteering on their behalf is one way we can show our respect,
regard and devotion for their service."
He noted that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a long
tradition of volunteering. Last year over 80,000 people volunteered
more than 11 million hours to service to VA. They drove patients to
medical appointments, welcomed returning combat Veterans home, helped
homeless Veterans and donated time to maintain VA's 128 national
Shinseki was joined by several members of VA's senior leadership.
Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth addressed a group of youth
volunteers about "Knowing and Respecting Disabled Veterans" and helped
escort a patient to a rehabilitation appointment. Assistant Secretaries
John U. Sepulveda and Roger W. Baker escorted patients to their
appointments at the D.C. VAMC. Assistant Secretary Jose D. Riojas and
Acting Assistant Secretary Karen W. Pane served meals at a local D.C.
"There is no better way to honor America's heroes than to spend time
every week giving back to those who have already given so much,"
VA's principals and other cabinet officials and senior federal leaders
across the country highlighted the President's summer service program,
which encourages Americans to recommit themselves to improving their
communities. The campaign runs through September 11, which will be
National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The campaign, coordinated by the Corporation for National and Community
Services, is encouraging Americans to develop their own service programs
that benefit their communities. Toolkits for developing projects are
available online at www.serve.gov