Today I took some personal time off from my job.  I did it so that I could go to the VA Hospital here in Livermore California to participate in an orientation for volunteers.  This is something that I have been waiting for, for the past four months.  It was in December of 2013, I was driving home around 9:00 p.m. from a soccer game that I had just finished refereeing, when a VA bus passed by me, going in the opposite direction.  It was then that a voice in my head said, “you really should do some volunteer work at the VA Hospital here in Livermore”.  So I began that process.  There many things that need to be done at the VA Hospital and they certainly do get busy.  I filled out my application, did the back ground check and even spoke with a supervisor who said that she would contact me to set me up with an orientation.  She never did.  After about a month of not hearing from her, I figured that my life is busy enough already and maybe this was a good thing, not hearing back from this person at the VA Hospital.

Last week, while I was in Southern California, I received a call from the head of the volunteer program at the Livermore VA Hospital; she wanted to know if I was still interested in volunteering there.  I said that I was.  So today I went in and did my initial orientation.  Their plan for me is to work with the Social Services Department.  Taking veterans out into town, to shop or just walk around.  Maybe just walk and talk with them on the hospital campus.  This is what I really wanted to do.  In fact, today while I was waiting for the orientation, I spent about a half an hour talking with a veteran in the recreation room.  We talked about cars, family and how good-looking the young lady was that was reporting the weather on the television.

So now I have had my orientation, I guess I now wait to hear from the Social Services Director.  If I don’t hear from her in about a week, I will give her a call.  I am just grateful, that I am able to donate some of my time and that I am able to give back to and support some of the men and woman who have given so much of their lives and sanity to support and defend our great nation and it’s allies and interests.

It also reminds me of all of my family members who have served in the military as well as some of my friends.  For this I am also Grateful.