DETROIT -

The Detroit VA Healthcare System will host what it says is always an exciting week as the medical center observes National Salute to Veteran Patients Week.

"This is our chance to treat our veterans and their families to various events and activities to let them know how much we appreciate them for their sacrifices and their service," said Dr. Pamela Reeves, Medical Center director. "Each year, we invite elected officials, school groups, celebrities and others to visit our patients during the week. It's such a treat for everyone involved."

While the national salute kicks off in mid-February, Detroit-area residents have the chance to show their appreciation to veterans all year by volunteering their time at the medical center.

"It's really our week to honor the more than 330,000 veterans across southeast Michigan," said William Browning, chief of Volunteer and Community Relations. "This week has quite a bit of history to it. The annual VA National Salute program began in 1978. VA Voluntary Service staff plan and execute local events and activities at VA medical facilities around the nation, including right here at the Detroit VA Healthcare System."

"The national salute is observed annually during the week of Valentine's Day, a day of caring and sharing which underscores the salute's expression of honor and appreciation to inpatient and outpatient Veterans," Browning added.

The medical center says no medical experience is necessary and volunteers are encouraged to share ideas on how they would like to give back using their unique skills.

"Our medical center's 1,200 volunteers are a crucial part of our health care team. The National Salute program is a great way for people to learn more about helping the veterans we serve here at the medical center," said Browning. "Visitors are often surprised at how varied our volunteer opportunities are."

Some of the events that will take place this week include a visit from the Wayne State volleyball team, a Suits for Soldiers professional attire giveaway, Gordon the Magician will perform for patients, the Peaceful Warriors Project band will perform, members from Selfridge Air National Guard Base will visit patients, Polish Legion of American Veterans will host BINGO and there will be a visit from the Salute To Our Heroes Group.

For a complete schedule of events, call 313-576-3340. To find opportunities, call 313-576-3332 or click here.

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