Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

We pause today to thank the men and women who have served our country.

And we thank the volunteers of the Masonic Service Association, Hospital Visitor Program.

The Hospital Visitor Program is much more than merely "visitations" to the disabled and lonely patients in V.A. Hospitals, State Veterans Homes and Extended Care Facilities. It is the rendering of personal services to all our sons and brothers, Masons and Non-Masons alike, who now need someone to turn to for encouragement and to make life a little more pleasant.

Little things mean a lot. A friendly smile, a warm handclasp, an embrace and a kind word can do wonders for those who are lonely and depressed in a hospital or a nursing home.

Volunteers are at their stations every day in the V.A. Hospitals or State Veterans Homes. They man their stations

  • to pay a comforting visit in the name of Freemasonry;
  • to act as a "personal shopper" for bedridden patients;
  • to purchase items for patients recommended by the Hospital staff, but not obtainable through regular hospital facilities.
  • to assist in procuring "vital statistics" documents, such as birth or marriage certificates to provide notary public services, particularly for patients confined to their beds
  • to arrange or furnish emergency transportation to a patient's home
  • to secure clothing for a needy patient, sometimes for his family
  • to counsel with a patient and his family, if it doesn't conflict with hospital procedures
  • to help arrange religious, entertainment and recreational activities for all patents.

We give special thanks to our MSA Representatives: John McBride at the Minneapolis VA Hospital, Kenneth Smith at Silver Bay, Everett Brandenberg at Luverne and Peter Kloskowski in St. Cloud, and all the volunteers that work with them.

The representatives above can ALWAYS use another two or three volunteers. If you have the time and inclination to spend a day or so a month visiting our recovering servicemen and women and veterans, contact the Grand Lodge Office, who will put you in touch with the volunteer program.

Once again, Thank You, Veterans. We literally could not enjoy our Freedom without your service.