Skip to Content

Grand Island Volunteers Honored by VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

Supporting Veterans: Larry Berney, a U.S. Army Veteran who now volunteers as a Veteran driver at the Grand Island VA Medical Center, poses with the awards he received during the Grand Island Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, held May 7. Berney was recognized for having amassed more than 10,000 volunteer hours at the Grand Island VA Medical Center. (VA NWIHCS Photo by Kevin Hynes).

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Nineteen Grand Island area residents were honored by Grand Island VA Medical Center and VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System leaders, May 7, for achieving significant volunteer milestones.

Those honored, including one individual who has amassed an amazing 10,000 hours of hours of volunteer service, help at the Grand Island VA Medical Center through the Center for Development and Community Engagement Office.

“Thank you for wanting to serve others,” said Kim Stroup, RN, who serves as the nurse manager for the Grand Island VAMC during the ceremony held at the Ramada Midtown Conference Center in Grand Island. “Thank you for your hours of service, whether it be one or 10,000. We appreciate every hour you put in and the services you provide our Veterans that we take care of.”

One of those volunteers honored was Larry Berney. A native of Grand Island who served in the U.S. Army as an ordnance specialist from 1958-64, volunteering to serve one’s fellow Veterans is a calling.

“I do it for the Veterans,” said Berney, who has amassed more than 10,000 hours since he began volunteering as a Veteran driver at the Grand Island VAMC roughly 20 years ago. “We have so many Veterans out there that are needing help. They can’t drive; they don’t have transportation; they need to get to medical appointments.”

“We’re there to furnish that (transportation),” he said. “A lot of them just wouldn’t get to their appointments if it wasn’t for us. This is why I do this… I enjoy serving our Veterans.”

According to Seth Wiesen, Grand Island VAMC administrative officer, the impact that volunteers, like Berney, have on local Veterans is significant. 

“(As Veterans) we always strive to leave things better than what we found them,” Wiesen said. “You guys are doing that… so we can’t thank you enough.”

Honored during the ceremony were:

10,000 Hour Award Bowl – Larry Berney, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

4,000 Hour Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award – Dale Musgrave, Veterans of Foreign Wars; Ronald Adams, American Red Cross. 

1,750 Hour Award – Pat Johnson, Disabled American Veterans; Richard Fox, Disabled American Veterans.

1,000 Hour Award – Marvin Howery, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans; Tom Rhodes, Disabled American Veterans; Pat Neff, Disabled American Veterans; Cathy Winegarden, Disabled American Veterans.

750 Hour Award – Sandy Fowler, Unaffiliated Volunteer; Mickey Fowler, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

500 Hour Award – Daniel Atchison, Disabled American Veterans; Tom Schneider, Unaffiliated Volunteer.

100 Hour Award – Dale Jackson, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans; Brian Schmidt, Disabled American Veterans; Karen Nollette, Disabled American Veterans; Dick Grosch, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans; Matthew Nichols, Disabled American Veterans; David Olson, Unaffiliated Volunteer.

Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities available at one of our VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System facilities? Please visit or call the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System’s Center for Development & Civic Engagement at 402-995-3283. Those wishing to volunteer at the Grand Island VA Medical Center are encourage to call 308-389-5146.