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Iron Mountain VA celebrates National Volunteer Week

This year’s celebration will be postponed until summer to accommodate outdoor activities that can follow safe COVID-19 guidelines.
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 4:20 PM EDT
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) -This week is National Volunteer Week. The Iron Mountain VA is celebrating its volunteers just like

John Meyer, who has been a volunteer for over 10 years at the Oscar G. Johnson V-A Medical Center.

“When I first got involved with it, I had no idea what I was getting into. But it is fun, it really makes you feel good,” said Meyer.

Meyer says he sits at the coffee counter, no longer serving coffee, but serving jokes and smiles to everyone he meets. He says each volunteer has a different job, whether it be joking around with veterans, or getting them to an appointment on time.

“It makes you feel good that you can do something for the veteran,” he explained.

But when the coronavirus pandemic urged people to stay at home, Katie Maxon, Voluntary Service Chief at the VA, says that also meant volunteer services were put on pause.

“This past year, with volunteer restrictions in place we really saw areas where we normally have assistance and we didn’t,” she added.

However, the VA was able to welcome back volunteers last summer, and continue it’s driving program, as well as bringing volunteers back into the building. The VA Medical Center normally hosts special events to honor the VA volunteers, however this year’s celebration will be postponed until summer to accommodate outdoor activities that can follow safe COVID-19 guidelines.

Maxon says this week is all about welcoming those volunteers back to the main building, even with masks and social distancing.

“That human component of being able to connect with a veteran, sometimes that might be the only person that veteran talks to today,” said Maxon.

Meyer says helping the veterans is the main goal, but this experience has helped him even more.

“It has turned out to be a benefit for me,” he added.

For more volunteer highlights at the Iron Mountain VA click here.

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