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Durham VA Health Care System


Durham VAMC Staff Celebrate America's Heroes

July 6, 2010


To celebrate America's Heroes, Durham VA staff dressed in support of a military branch
VA Photo by Pete Tillman


DURHAM, NC -- The week leading up to July 4th was different this year at the Durham VAMC. Sponsored by the Work Life Improvement Team (WLIT), staff came together to celebrate America’s Heroes by sharing personal facts about military service and by wearing clothing in support of one of the 5 military branches.

A “Did You Know” campaign offered staff the opportunity to share facts about their own military service or that of a family member. In turn, these were communicated on posters and through email to all Durham VA Medical Center staff. The buzz about “Did You Know” spread quickly and the stories were no short of amazing.  Did you know that Kelli Totillo’s uncle is Donald G. Cook, a Medal of Honor recipient and Vietnam war hero, whom the ship USS Donald Cook was built in his honor?

Many staff did not realize the number of Veterans that they work with every day. Did you know about a quarter of the workforce at the Durham VA are Veterans? The project was both an informative and bonding experience. The commemoration of America’s heroes was well timed with Independence Day and was on all accounts a success. Ken Oleary, WLIT member and President of United American Nurses Union, noted, “the event was a success because we work in an environment that is on every American’s mind and this was our way of showing our pride and support for those American Heroes that have made America great”.

The week concluded with a group picture, whereby staff wore clothing supportive of a military branch met by the American Flag at Noon. All branches were represented in some fashion. For a brief moment staff were able to come together in salute of the heroes they are so proud to service, our nations Veterans. Many in attendance were Veterans themselves.

For  more information about the Durham VA, please contact Public Affairs at (919) 286-6986.