Today, as the RAF branches across the country deliver patriotic bouquets, adorned with the American Flag, to VA homes across the nation, the quote above (by ancient Roman Senator Publius Cornelius Tacitus) rings especially true to all of us here.
We take great pride in our mission of delivering hope and encouragement to individuals in healthcare facilities throughout the country, every week of the year. But, today of all days is special. Today, we deliver flowers to brave men and women who – through their military service – brought hope to us as citizens of the USA. So, yes, today we deliver hope; but along with that hope, we deliver deep, abiding gratitude to the people we met.
Thank you to those we honor today for your service, for your patriotism, and for the hope that you’ve given us as a nation.
“Your thoughtfulness reflects the concern that you feel for our Veterans and for the service they provided to all of us while in service to our country. Without your support, we could not provide for activities like this that make hospitalization more bearable. Your thoughtfulness also reflects the concern and compassion that our community feels for our Veterans.” – Nathan, Tampa Bay Healthcare Partner
In Chicago, we partnered with Y.O.U. (Youth & Opportunity United) and AmeriCorps to deliver bouquets to more than 500 veteran patients; and, Dare2tri’s Melissa Stockwell joined Random Acts of Flowers Chicago for a Veterans Day delivery! Stockwell lost her leg in Iraq in 2004 after a roadside bomb went off. After a year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she went on to win several Paratriathlons and, on September 11, 2016, she won a Bronze Medal in the Rio Paralympic Games.
On her Facebook page, Stockwell shared this quotation in honor of Veterans Day –
“A Veteran is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of their life’s most vital years in the service of this country, and who sacrificed their ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. A soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.“
“Your Random Acts of Kindness improve the quality of my life while staying here at the VA Rehab Center. Your thoughtfulness brightens my room and warms my heart.” – Kimberly, Recipient
In Knoxville, the Veterans Day delivery to Ben Atchley State Veterans Home was facilitated by Dave Penson, a regular volunteer at the branch and a veteran himself. He served 22 years (was commissioned out of college in 1971) before retiring. Part of a robust military family (including his father, his wife (herself a retired colonel), and their children), Dave was pleased to deliver hope and encouragement to men and women who, like him, feel taller and prouder today.
Thank you to all of our Veterans Day sponsors across the country, including Advocate Condell Medical Center; Alternative Staffing, Inc.; Dover Foundation; FTD; Functional Pathways; MZI Group; and UL.