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Salute to Vets — Valentine Day Concerts

Martha Reeves with a microphone shakes a tambourine

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas opened with their chart-topping classic “Heat Wave” at the 2011 Valentine concert in Baltimore.

Get Involved with National Salute Week!

February 12 through 18 is a special time at Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers all across America.

Established as an official VA program in 1978, this week is known as “National Salute to Veteran Patients” and is an annual event designed to increase public awareness of Veterans and the sacrifices they have made for our nation.

It is an opportunity for the public to visit their local VA Medical Center and its outpatient clinics, meet America’s Veterans, and explore the various aspects of the facility’s volunteer program.

The National Salute to Veteran Patients gives everyone a chance to let those who have given so much to our nation know that they are not forgotten. We want people of all ages to bring Valentine’s Day cheer to our patients. Highlights of the special salute week are concerts for Veterans around Valentine’s Day that say, “Thank you!”

Famous performers entertain America’s heroes in VA medical centers around the country.

Many thanks to Help Hospitalized Veterans for sponsorship of the talent at each of the concerts and to the many local donors who make these concerts a success.

The first concert will be February 9 with Aaron Tippin in Salem, VA. Next is February 10 featuring The Dramatics in Cleveland.

Friday, February 10, The Platters will perform in Montgomery and on Saturday, February 11, it will be The Chi-Lites in Chicago and The Spinners in Detroit.

Monday, February 13, it’s Aaron Tippin in Reno.

The Salute gives everyone a chance to let those who have given so much to our nation know they are not forgotten.

Portrait photo of B.J. Thomas

Performer B.J. Thomas photo:

Concerts by Legendary Performers All Week

The Grass Roots will perform on Monday, February 13, at the Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Everybody should be able to join in on “Midnight Confessions,” “Temptation Eyes” and “Bella Linda.”

B.J. Thomas (“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”) will sing at Miami Beach on February 12, in Battle Creek, Michigan on February 14 and in Prescott, AZ, on February 18. Thanks BJ!

Other legendary performers entertaining Veterans are The Temptations, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Lorrie Morgan and Lee Greenwood.

Other concerts are scheduled for:

  • Tuskegee, AL, Cleveland and Montgomery, AL, on the 10th
  • Chicago, Detroit and North Chicago on the 11th
  • Miami on Feb. 12th
  • Reno & Los Angeles on the 13th
  • Battle Creek, Columbus, OH, Iowa City, IA, and Muskogee OK on the 14th
  • Poplar Bluff, MO, and Jackson, MS, on the 17th
  • Baltimore and Prescott, AZ, on the 18th.

Find your medical center with the facility locator.

Send a Valentine to a Vet

Columnist Ann Landers initiated a movement several years ago encouraging school children and adults to write a special note of thanks to hospitalized Veterans in a Valentine’s Day greeting. We take great care in distributing these cards to Veterans and displaying them throughout our hospital during this particular week.

It is touching to see how much effort young children put into making special Valentines to brighten the lives of our nation’s Veterans. Cards come in every shape and size — and are made with everything from tissue paper, stickers, and colored doilies to crayons, construction paper, and stamps. One thing all of these cards have in common is they are made with love and respect for our nation’s Veterans.

In addition to cards from school children, hospitalized Veterans and those with outpatient clinic appointments receive visits from local celebrities, elected officials, and other groups, and enjoy their special day.

These visits have traditionally included personal time together sharing stories and interests, playing cards or board games, and distribution of U.S. flags.

National Salute Week also draws awareness to the role of VA in the community, as well as the many important volunteer opportunities at VA facilities.

Everyone is encouraged to send a Valentine to a Veteran or support one of the many special activities during this week at their local VA Medical Center.