It’s a New Day at the WLA VA

Veteran's participate in the first Operation: Buzz and learn beekeeping. Photo: Courtesy.

By Marcie Polier Swartz

This month Village for Vets spotlights next year and the programs we hope to bring to fruition.

Dogs! Did you know that dogs can be trained to sense and interrupt deleterious PTSD episodes? 

If you want to see healing in action, go here: and have a visit with Vicki Topaz who is documenting the healing effects of the Operation Freedom Paws’ program we are hoping to bring to VAGLAHS. The link to this program’s landing page is here  Watch the short video of the effect this program has on Veterans facing hopelessness after returning home from service. $15,000 matches a dog and a Veteran. Contact us at [email protected]

Our Fundraiser: This coming December we will hold our first fundraiser. Our plan is to bring a new style to the VA and we need you to do it.

Volunteer for our committee and help us mount this amazing event for Vets and the Community alike.

You can volunteer here:

Hospital Visits: A core group of us have been making the hospital and nursing home rounds at the VA once a month. This program will be expanded with an instruction tutorial and doctor led visits.

Take the hand of a Vet recuperating in the hospital. Most have no family or visitors. The smiles are unforgettable. You can volunteer here:

Operation Buzz: Keith Roberts from Valley hive is launching a Beekeeping Training Program which is free to Veterans.  The initial introductory event, held on Sunday, May 27th, was eye-opening as Vets donned Bee Suits, learned a lot about honey, looked closely into the wax honeycomb to examine the queen laying live eggs and older bees tending the flock. Buzzworthy. Donate to support here:

Food Pantry: our large VA can use a permanent food pantry where Vets in need can go to stock up.  We are working together with a local donor and the VA Central Office to see if we can open one. This might be a beacon to attract more Homeless Vets to trust and welcome VA services into their lives.

Income Stipends: We are expanding our Income Stipend Program from one to three. That means raising $30,000 by December 31.  Join us to prop up Veterans who have a hard time working in conventional settings with Income Stipends. We need more words in the English language for citizens who uplift the community but are unable to work…want to suggest vocabulary?  Email us at [email protected] Just put “new words” in the subject line.

Next month’s issue will be our last article in the series we’ve been authoring to keep our communities eyes and hearts focused on the amazing changes going on at our VAGLAHS Take pride in helping the VA.  We look forward to your support.