Letter: Veterans Day

Every year on Veterans Day, we reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of those men and women who have worn the cloth of this great nation. Countless ceremonies take place around the country as we honor our patriots who have protected our liberty by serving in the United States armed forces. As the director of VA Boston Healthcare System, I can tell you how important and special it is to experience a national demonstration of gratitude.

Consider this: Veterans Day is but one day. At the VA Boston Healthcare System—where our common goal and mission is to treat and comfort those who entrust us with their health—Veterans Day is every day. More than 4,000 employees—many of whom are veterans themselves—work around the clock to provide a full spectrum of comprehensive patient- and family-centered care to our veterans. Employee survey answers have resulted in VA Boston being named one of the Boston Globe’s Top 100 Places to work for the past seven years. We also partner with civic leaders and community members in many ways to ensure that veterans receive the care and services they need and deserve.

We’re all living in challenging days and the VA Boston Healthcare System is here to assist veterans from all war eras as they continue to make adjustments throughout their lives. We offer veterans an array of programs and services that improve their health and quality of life; whether it’s help with quitting smoking, losing weight, transitioning back into civilian life from the military, incarceration or homelessness, or tackling chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure. The Million Veteran Program—the largest genomic database in the world and a component of the President’s Moonshot Initiative—gives veterans the chance to donate their genetic sample for research. We take care of veterans from their discharge from service until the end of their lives.

The VA Boston Healthcare System also provides something else that no other non-VA health care system can: a place where veterans can embrace their journey to recovery with others who share similar military experiences and the military culture that shapes them. We have peer support specialists, veteran and employee engagement meetings, and believe in transparency on all levels.

We are privileged to live in the United States where the cost of freedom as we all know it is not free, but paid for by the sacrifices of the men and women. I want to thank our veterans for their service and their sacrifice in defending the freedom and liberty that we all enjoy. As director of the VA Boston Healthcare System, I am proud to know that I can lead the charge to provide quality, safe, and compassionate health care to Massachusetts’s veterans. It’s an honor and a duty to do so and the least we can do to demonstrate our gratitude for a debt we can never otherwise repay.

On behalf of all VA Boston employees,

Vincent Ng

director, VA Boston Healthcare System

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