Soldiers from Fort Leavenworth visited the domiciliary at the Eisenhower VA Medical Center on Thursday to give a special Valentine’s Day tribute to military veterans being treated at the facility.

As part of the National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, approximately 40 active duty soldiers from the military installation met and mingled with veterans.

“That was awesome that they came over to show support for us,” said a Vietnam War veteran who is in a treatment program at the VA. “It’s inspiring. It feels good that people appreciated what we have done in the military. It’s just really nice. It meant a lot to me, and I’m sure it meant a lot to everybody here at the dom.”

The domiciliary residents heard from garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Williams, Joe Burks, public affairs officer for the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System, and Dr. Alicia Wendler, acting director of the domiciliary.

Wendler talked to the residents and soldiers from the fort about recovery strategies as related to mental health and substance abuse issues.

“We focus on developing treatment plans that address their goals for recovery,” she said. “Recovery is not a destination. It’s a journey.”

Charles Ramey, voluntary service specialist at the VA, said the domiciliary residents enjoy visiting with the active duty soldiers each year at the annual event.

“They like the camaraderie,” he said.

Capt. Jesse Huntsman from the fort said the soldiers enjoy it too.

“This outreach is great for the community and the VA,” he said.

For more information about the VA or National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, call 913-682-2000, ext. 52018.