The Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) joins a grateful Nation to celebrate National Volunteer Week, April 21-27.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) joins a grateful Nation to celebrate National Volunteer Week, April 21-27.

“Volunteers are invaluable and they mean so much to our organization,” said St. Cloud VA Volunteer Coordinator Dennis Erie. “They are an irreplaceable part of the care and services provided to our Veterans.”

In Montevideo, volunteer opportunities in service to Veterans are available at the VA clinic. Clinic Coordinator Michelle Thein is highlighting the service of two local volunteers during this year’s volunteer celebration.

Thein writes:

“I would like to recognize Lyle Henning and Mary Huntley for their outstanding service and dedication to the Montevideo VA Clinic. Volunteers are an essential part of this health care team and we truly appreciate their commitment to our organization.

During an inaugural information gathering in 2002, Lyle Henning made a commitment to volunteer at our clinic. He has continued to serve the Montevideo CBOC ever since.

According to Lyle, he is the “Self-appointed Unofficial Magazine Censor,” the “TV News Selector,” and the “Waiting Room Chair Arranger.” However, we know he does so much more! When Veterans walk in the clinic, he is quick to greet them and offer assistance. Whether it is offering coffee, cookies, directions to the nearest restaurant, or that big contagious smile of his, Lyle is responsive to the needs of our Veterans and the clinic. Any time we need assistance with an outreach event, Lyle is right there lending a hand.

Lyle once told me, “Volunteering by definition, is doing something for someone without reward. That’s good enough for me!” Our conversation continued and I asked why he chose to volunteer here. He listed the following reasons: (1) Veterans are important for what they did. (2) Deployed military are important for what they do. (3) Recruits are important for what they’ll become. (4) All are important because they’re people.

Mary Huntley was also part of the original group of volunteers and has been volunteering in our clinic for the past 10 years. For the last six years, she has served as the Volunteer Coordinator to complete schedules, coordinate assignments, and track volunteer hours. Mary is always eager and willing to take on new volunteer assignments and help recruit other volunteers for various opportunities throughout the year. Mary provides great support to clinic operations. Whether folding letters and stuffing envelopes or making phone calls to Veterans, she helps staff without hesitation. Always smiling, Mary is our unofficial Welcome Committee. The patients and their families love seeing her as she makes them feel comfortable in the waiting room.

Lyle and Mary, we thank you for your selfless service and continued dedication to the Montevideo VA clinic and our community.”

Thein adds that three other regular volunteers deserve mention as well, including Bill Homan, Wanda Heath, and Delores Sandberg—thanks for all you do!

Volunteer opportunities are available at the Montevideo VA Clinic. Contact Dennis Erie at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System at 320-255-6365.