volunteering with veterans

I went to my orientation for volunteering with the VA hospital today and I’m so pumped! šŸ™‚ I’ve been wanting to volunteer with veterans for a long time but somehow, I always get caught up in other stuff and I was (still sort of am) scared that I’d offend someone. For the people that know me personally, it’s no secret I love to talk. I’m a very outgoing person so I always had a fear that I’d offend or anger a veteran even though I don’t mean to.

I’m still in awe of the veterans of America. I had a pretty good work out walking from building to building to get my blood test and paper work completed. I walked by the valet area twice and there was a Korean War veteran who said hello the first time he saw me and then have a great day the second time he saw me. I was sort of shocked because I didn’t think he’d say anything (not sure why) and when he did all I could do was grin like an idiot. When I replied hi to his hello he gave me a nod. When I said you too when he said have a great day, he smiled at me. Is it completely creepy to say I was happy after that? I kept replaying the scene in my head because I felt like I should have said more but I didn’t know what else to say.

During orientation an older man came into the room and he was in a wheelchair. At first, everyone thought he was lost (he was in his pjs). When the voluntary specialist asked him what he was there for, he said to volunteer. It turns out that he is a retired marine who fought in World War II. He was even wearing his utility cover. During the course of the 2 1/2 hours we were there, he somehow made his way next to my seat. We struck up a conversation about the marines. Mainly he was just telling me about them and I listened. I told him about my food blog and this recipe I once found called oatmeal molasses cookies (sugar was rationed during WW2). His eyes lit up instantly after I said it. I also told him how the big bro got me a mixer that really started it all and how he’s also a marine veteran. Then I was ordered to tell the big bro that he is “one lucky bastard,” because he gets oatmeal molasses cookies. HAHA! Big bro has yet to reply to my text about that comment. It was hilarious. He said he wasn’t going to buy me a mixer but he would like some cookies. Then he told me about his group of friends at the VA and where I can usually find him to bring him his cookies. Before I left the room, he found me and told me again where I could find him to bring him his cookies. I told him it was an honor to meet him and that I hope he will have a great day. He responded by telling me not to forget ro bring him his cookies. Is it just me or are all marines the same? It put me at ease because I felt like I was talking to the big bro. All he wanted was cookies…haha šŸ™‚

I will probably blog more once I get the ball rolling and start volunteering for sure. I’m a little nervous about what to expect in terms of volunteering there just because I normally work with kids. Has anyone ever volunteered at the VA hospitals or for an organization working with veterans of all eras? I’d appreciate your input!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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