Waco, Tx — For many of us, Valentine's Day is when we let our special someone know how much we love them. However, for the Central Texas VA Hospitals, Thursday was a time for our community to let our veterans know how much they're valued.
What better day to share a message of love and appreciation than on Valentine's Day?
"Some of the veterans that are here may not have family nearby, and on Valentine's Day, you know, it's a very special time to show the veterans that they're loved," said Waco VA Hospital Chief of Voluntary Service, Bobby Zimmerman.
Three simple words: "I am loved" reminds more than 600 Central Texas vets of how much the community esteems their service and dedication to
protecting our freedoms.
"I cannot tell you how excited I am to be here today," said Miss Texas, DaNae Couch.
Students, teachers, soldiers, and others spent time sharing cards, candy, and balloons in honor of the VA hospital's National Salute to Veterans.
"You have fun today," said Zimmerman to a crowd of eager volunteers looking to spread love this holiday.
"Men and women who are here in this facility and throughout generations, they, have created, at the end of the day, the world that we know, the freedoms that we enjoy," said Tim Head, District Director for Congressman Bill Flores' office.
Thomas Radley, a former Air Force soldier, came to the Waco VA Hospital on January 23 for blind rehab. Radley says he was not expecting so many people to make his Valentine's Day so special.
"I have this strange feeling that my wife arranged this," said Radley.
This is the first year Radley is celebrating valentine's without his wife, as she passed away shortly after Valentine's Day last year.
"I know that's ridiculous, but that's just a saying. It's extra influenced by people who care," said Radley.
Just having someone to share their stories with, hug on, and share a smile with was enough to make any vet's day extra special.
"And, that's a valentine, a well wish and a love wish," said Radley.