VA Hospital seeking Valentines for Vets — and supportive mail on regular days, too

CLARKSBURG – National Salute to Veteran Patient Week is celebrated from Feb. 7 through 14, and folks in the Voluntary Service Department at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg are asking West Virginia residents to join in the celebration.

This year, participation is even more crucial, as the center is currently closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeannine Romano, voluntary service specialist at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center, said they are asking for Valentine Day Cards to be sent to the Center for hospitalized Veterans. Valentines for Veterans may be mailed to: A Veteran, Louis A. Johnson VAMC, 00-P, One Medical Center Drive, Clarksburg, WV 26301.

However, cards sent through the U.S. postal service will be held for 10 days before distributing to patients to reduce the risk to patients.

Folks may also send messages to Romano said even though right now there’s a special push is to get mail, cards and well wishes into the hands of the hospitalized Veterans for Valentine Day, every day should be Veteran’s Day and Veteran patients could use mail on regular days, too.

Romano said the Valentines for Vets program is something they do each year.

“This year, we also set up a virtual Valentine site because of the pandemic,” Romano said. “We have had a good response with these and have actually received about 100 of those in the last few days. Those are distributed among the patients. We are able to reproduce the digital Valentines on paper that has not been outside of our facility and those are delivered to the patients each day along with their newspaper. That way the patients are receiving mail.”

Patients really enjoy receiving the Valentines and well wishes, and Romano said when she goes to visit them, many veterans have saved them and put them up on their windowsills.

“It is nice to see that the patients really appreciate that folks are thinking of them,” she said. “We will carry the digital greetings beyond Valentine’s Day, and it was the pandemic that created that; it is working out really well.”

Romano said that since March 13, 2020, volunteers at the center have had to stand down and not come into the facility – and visitors have not been able to visit their loved ones, so the greetings and Valentines are much-needed to brighten the Veterans’ spirits.

“Generally, we receive a lot of mail around Memorial Day, Independence Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Veterans Day,” she said. “Because of COVID-19, we have been carrying that through. Please consider sending a thank-you card, a smile, something funny or a thinking of you card. We have had a big response with this. Please keep the cards and letters coming each day and do not just send items on holidays. Every day is Veteran’s Day.”

Another way to help Veterans in the Louis A. Johnson VAMC during the pandemic is to purchase items on their online wish list which is available at

More than 9 million Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are cared for in medical centers, outpatient clinics and nursing homes, according to the U.S. Department for Veteran Affairs’ website. The purpose of the National Salute to Veteran Patients Program is to pay tribute and express appreciation to Veterans and increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center, the site says.

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