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Step into the Green Scene

Green Scene

Leading by example, Nutrition and Foodservice dietician, Annemarie Price, MS, RD, shows why the Martinsburg VA Medical Center has an award-winning composting program as she prepares to collect organic waste to compost in a bio bag.

By Andre Parker
Friday, May 8, 2015

 

Charles P. Clark, a 107-year-old World War II (WWII) Veteran has been living at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) Community Living Center since November and has pretty much seen it all.

Living WWII Veterans experienced the most widespread war in the nation’s history and are among the steadily declining Veteran population in the world. WWII African-American Veterans fought a global war when segregation was still among the ranks in the United States.

Clark was born in August 1907 in Hamilton, Virginia.  He is one of seven children of a sharecropper and a housemaid. At 32-years-old, Clark was drafted into the U.S. Army, and on December 12, 1944, he was called to serve in WWII after graduating from basic training in Fort Lee, Virginia.

“When I left, I was on a big ship with about 5,000 men of different cultures and backgrounds,” said Clark. “There were 53 ships in the convoy and we landed in Liverpool, England, at about quarter to seven in the evening. It was a month after D-Day.”

Clark’s unit was the 3238 Quartermaster Service Company, an all-black unit of the 9th Armored Division. Clark and his unit were part of the over 2.5 million African-American men registered for the draft during WWII and among the 125,000 African-American men who served overseas during WWII. The unit delivered, supported and served food to the troops, but was not allowed to fight upfront in combat.

“My main duty was kitchen patrol,” said Clark. “I furnished food to the men and guarded food and supplies when we traveled on convoys. “I remember one time we got a little too close to the front while we were serving food, and a Colonel came over and told us to get back; they didn’t allow us to serve up front.”

Clark’s commanding officer and two lieutenants were white, but his first sergeant and the rest of his unit were black. Clark said that he wasn’t mistreated while serving in WWII and most people were nice to him. “It didn’t bother me too much,” said Clark. “My commander was a nice guy; he was from Baltimore, Maryland and his brother was captured by the Germans before we even got there. We were all there fighting the war.”

Clark provided food service support in England, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland under the most hostile conditions. One night he thought he was going to fight because he could hear the Germans getting closer. “I was on guard duty one night and I told my buddy that we’re going to fight tonight because I felt the Germans were right on us,” said Clark. “My commander told us to get ready, but we never did.”

Clark served 22 months during WWII and returned to Purcellville, Virginia after his military discharge. Once home, Clark worked on an apple orchard, became a neighborhood barber and drove a county school bus for 25 years.

On March 16, 2015, the Martinsburg VAMC director presented Clark with a Certificate of Appreciation and a coin for his military service and contributions during WWII.

“Mr. Clark’s service and contributions during the world’s largest conflict are nothing less than extraordinary,” said Timothy Cooke, medical center director. “Just like so many other men and women, he served our country with great honor and distinction and it’s a privilege to have him at our medical center.”

Clark’s daughter-in-law, Della Clark attended the presentation. “I believe Pop’s longevity secret is that he never gets angry and he loves to graze all day long,” said Clark. “I've known him since 1964 and have never seen him raise his voice nor get upset.”

According to the VA’s population analysis and statistics, by 2038, WWII Veterans will be no longer available to share their story. Roughly 16 million Americans served during WWII and a little over a million WWII Veterans are still living.

“It is important that we thank and listen to the stories of all men and women, especially those who served during World War II while they are alive, because soon we will only hear their story in our history books,” said Cooke. “Preserving their history is up to all of us.”

Clark said he believes his service in WWII helped him to become a better man. When Clark was asked his secret to living a long life he smiled and simply said, “Eat good food and not a lot of junk food.”

- See more at: http://www.martinsburg.va.gov/MARTINSBURG/features/Oldest_Living_WWII_Veteran.asp#sthash.cDxOKn7R.dpuf

Charles P. Clark, a 107-year-old World War II (WWII) Veteran has been living at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) Community Living Center since November and has pretty much seen it all.

Living WWII Veterans experienced the most widespread war in the nation’s history and are among the steadily declining Veteran population in the world. WWII African-American Veterans fought a global war when segregation was still among the ranks in the United States.

Clark was born in August 1907 in Hamilton, Virginia.  He is one of seven children of a sharecropper and a housemaid. At 32-years-old, Clark was drafted into the U.S. Army, and on December 12, 1944, he was called to serve in WWII after graduating from basic training in Fort Lee, Virginia.

“When I left, I was on a big ship with about 5,000 men of different cultures and backgrounds,” said Clark. “There were 53 ships in the convoy and we landed in Liverpool, England, at about quarter to seven in the evening. It was a month after D-Day.”

Clark’s unit was the 3238 Quartermaster Service Company, an all-black unit of the 9th Armored Division. Clark and his unit were part of the over 2.5 million African-American men registered for the draft during WWII and among the 125,000 African-American men who served overseas during WWII. The unit delivered, supported and served food to the troops, but was not allowed to fight upfront in combat.

“My main duty was kitchen patrol,” said Clark. “I furnished food to the men and guarded food and supplies when we traveled on convoys. “I remember one time we got a little too close to the front while we were serving food, and a Colonel came over and told us to get back; they didn’t allow us to serve up front.”

Clark’s commanding officer and two lieutenants were white, but his first sergeant and the rest of his unit were black. Clark said that he wasn’t mistreated while serving in WWII and most people were nice to him. “It didn’t bother me too much,” said Clark. “My commander was a nice guy; he was from Baltimore, Maryland and his brother was captured by the Germans before we even got there. We were all there fighting the war.”

Clark provided food service support in England, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland under the most hostile conditions. One night he thought he was going to fight because he could hear the Germans getting closer. “I was on guard duty one night and I told my buddy that we’re going to fight tonight because I felt the Germans were right on us,” said Clark. “My commander told us to get ready, but we never did.”

Clark served 22 months during WWII and returned to Purcellville, Virginia after his military discharge. Once home, Clark worked on an apple orchard, became a neighborhood barber and drove a county school bus for 25 years.

On March 16, 2015, the Martinsburg VAMC director presented Clark with a Certificate of Appreciation and a coin for his military service and contributions during WWII.

“Mr. Clark’s service and contributions during the world’s largest conflict are nothing less than extraordinary,” said Timothy Cooke, medical center director. “Just like so many other men and women, he served our country with great honor and distinction and it’s a privilege to have him at our medical center.”

Clark’s daughter-in-law, Della Clark attended the presentation. “I believe Pop’s longevity secret is that he never gets angry and he loves to graze all day long,” said Clark. “I've known him since 1964 and have never seen him raise his voice nor get upset.”

According to the VA’s population analysis and statistics, by 2038, WWII Veterans will be no longer available to share their story. Roughly 16 million Americans served during WWII and a little over a million WWII Veterans are still living.

“It is important that we thank and listen to the stories of all men and women, especially those who served during World War II while they are alive, because soon we will only hear their story in our history books,” said Cooke. “Preserving their history is up to all of us.”

Clark said he believes his service in WWII helped him to become a better man. When Clark was asked his secret to living a long life he smiled and simply said, “Eat good food and not a lot of junk food.”

- See more at: http://www.martinsburg.va.gov/MARTINSBURG/features/Oldest_Living_WWII_Veteran.asp#sthash.cDxOKn7R.dpuf

Charles P. Clark, a 107-year-old World War II (WWII) Veteran has been living at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center (VAMC) Community Living Center since November and has pretty much seen it all.

Living WWII Veterans experienced the most widespread war in the nation’s history and are among the steadily declining Veteran population in the world. WWII African-American Veterans fought a global war when segregation was still among the ranks in the United States.

Clark was born in August 1907 in Hamilton, Virginia.  He is one of seven children of a sharecropper and a housemaid. At 32-years-old, Clark was drafted into the U.S. Army, and on December 12, 1944, he was called to serve in WWII after graduating from basic training in Fort Lee, Virginia.

“When I left, I was on a big ship with about 5,000 men of different cultures and backgrounds,” said Clark. “There were 53 ships in the convoy and we landed in Liverpool, England, at about quarter to seven in the evening. It was a month after D-Day.”

Clark’s unit was the 3238 Quartermaster Service Company, an all-black unit of the 9th Armored Division. Clark and his unit were part of the over 2.5 million African-American men registered for the draft during WWII and among the 125,000 African-American men who served overseas during WWII. The unit delivered, supported and served food to the troops, but was not allowed to fight upfront in combat.

“My main duty was kitchen patrol,” said Clark. “I furnished food to the men and guarded food and supplies when we traveled on convoys. “I remember one time we got a little too close to the front while we were serving food, and a Colonel came over and told us to get back; they didn’t allow us to serve up front.”

Clark’s commanding officer and two lieutenants were white, but his first sergeant and the rest of his unit were black. Clark said that he wasn’t mistreated while serving in WWII and most people were nice to him. “It didn’t bother me too much,” said Clark. “My commander was a nice guy; he was from Baltimore, Maryland and his brother was captured by the Germans before we even got there. We were all there fighting the war.”

Clark provided food service support in England, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland under the most hostile conditions. One night he thought he was going to fight because he could hear the Germans getting closer. “I was on guard duty one night and I told my buddy that we’re going to fight tonight because I felt the Germans were right on us,” said Clark. “My commander told us to get ready, but we never did.”

Clark served 22 months during WWII and returned to Purcellville, Virginia after his military discharge. Once home, Clark worked on an apple orchard, became a neighborhood barber and drove a county school bus for 25 years.

On March 16, 2015, the Martinsburg VAMC director presented Clark with a Certificate of Appreciation and a coin for his military service and contributions during WWII.

“Mr. Clark’s service and contributions during the world’s largest conflict are nothing less than extraordinary,” said Timothy Cooke, medical center director. “Just like so many other men and women, he served our country with great honor and distinction and it’s a privilege to have him at our medical center.”

Clark’s daughter-in-law, Della Clark attended the presentation. “I believe Pop’s longevity secret is that he never gets angry and he loves to graze all day long,” said Clark. “I've known him since 1964 and have never seen him raise his voice nor get upset.”

According to the VA’s population analysis and statistics, by 2038, WWII Veterans will be no longer available to share their story. Roughly 16 million Americans served during WWII and a little over a million WWII Veterans are still living.

“It is important that we thank and listen to the stories of all men and women, especially those who served during World War II while they are alive, because soon we will only hear their story in our history books,” said Cooke. “Preserving their history is up to all of us.”

Clark said he believes his service in WWII helped him to become a better man. When Clark was asked his secret to living a long life he smiled and simply said, “Eat good food and not a lot of junk food.”

- See more at: http://www.martinsburg.va.gov/MARTINSBURG/features/Oldest_Living_WWII_Veteran.asp#sthash.cDxOKn7R.dpuf


At VISN 5, we are committed to practicing green initiatives. All of our four medical centers participate in multiple programs that protect and benefit our environment.
 
There is a good reason the VA Baltimore Medical Center is located on “Greene” Street! The VA Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS) has implemented a variety of recycling programs, including single stream (a system that mixes together paper, plastics, metals etc. for processing), electronic recycling, tire recycling, and universal waste recycling. The benefits are impressive: Last year the VAMHCS recycled 2.9 million lbs. of waste composed of tires, universal waste, electronics, demolition debris from construction activities, metals, and electronics. The single stream recycling program, which was implemented in 2012 at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, has consistently diverted16, 000 lbs. of solid waste per month—that is equivalent to the weight of an African bush elephant each month! 
Along with recycling programs, VAMHCS has an off-site composting program, which processes approximately 5,000 lbs at the compost vendor’s site. In addition, there are two alternative fuel stations, which use biofuels that minimize our carbon footprint and are eco-friendly.

Waste Not, Want Not

Martinsburg VA Medical Center’s award-winning food waste reduction program has decreased the facility’s food waste by an impressive 80 percent, which landed them a feature on PBS! The facility donates 265 lbs. of food per week to Potomac Highlands Transitional Housing Group, a nonprofit organization for Veterans.  Any food that cannot be used or donated is composted onsite. As part of their green kitchen initiative, Martinsburg’s medical center also purchases locally grown produce. This initiative won Martinsburg two environmental awards: a 2010 VA Sustainability award as well as the 2010 GreenGov Presidential award.

Additionally, Martinsburg VAMC has instituted multiple construction projects demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. The facility has installed a solar charging station for electric vehicles, which save s12,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per vehicle every year as well as a vehicle-washing stations, which relies solely on storm water produced by roof run-off. In recent renovations, the facility implemented daylighting and geothermal heating which reduces electricity costs and provides a better work environment. Martinsburg has also developed multiple recycling programs, include single stream, which recycles a striking 160,000 lbs. of mixed materials each year, cardboard and mixed metal programs, which recycle 72,000 lbs. and 24,000 lbs. of materials per year, respectively.

The Washington DC VA Medical Center also participates in cardboard recycling and has installed a new used-cooking-oil tank to continue their oil and grease recycling program in the Veterans’ Canteen. The DC VA is switching from single-use batteries to rechargeable ones in a variety of nursing and biomedical equipment, to reduce universal waste amounts.

Collectively the VISN 5 facilities reduce and recycle hundreds of thousands of pounds of materials every year, helping to save the VA thousands of dollars and protect the environment for all of us. 

 

Green Scene

Imagine reducing waste equal to the weight of an African bush elephant. The Perry Point VA Medical Center does it every month!

        

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