The National Salute to Veteran Patients Week is held annually during the week of February 14 (Valentine’s Day) to honor the more than 9 million Veterans of the US Armed Services, who are being cared for in VA medical hospitals, outpatient clinics and nursing homes. It also aims to raise awareness of the sacrifices made by these oft-forgotten men and women in service of their country, and encourage citizens to volunteer with organizations that serve military veteran patients.

Children of the Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) program at the Louisville Sai Center observed the Week by making colorful Thank you cards to be distributed to veterans. On February 9th, about 17 children, including friends whom the SSE children had invited, came together to use their talent for art and writing to express their appreciation for veterans.

One of the children shared, “It is good to thank veterans for what they did to protect us, for their sacrifice and service to the country.” Another child reflected, “Veterans give a lot to our country. They are the reason we can sleep peacefully at night. It nice to be able to do something for them and to show that we appreciate them.”

An adult Sai Center member observed, “It was a joy to witness the way the children really embraced the activity and put a lot of effort and creativity into the cards they made. I was most impressed with their responses to my question about why this project mattered. It demonstrated that they understood the sacrifices that our military members make in service to our country.”

The Center liaison with the VA Medical Center remarked, “it was heart-warming to know young children made these sweet inspiring cards to thank the veterans. The VA Medical Center Coordinator is very grateful for this kind gesture. The cards will certainly bring a lot of smiles and touch the hearts of both the young and elderly heroes.”

The session ended with everyone enjoying pizza, a perfect ending to a meaningful session where both the SSE children and their friends experienced the joy of service, the joy of expressing their gratitude to our military veterans and to let them know they are never forgotten!