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VA Portland Health Care System

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Vets4Vets bring smiles to hospitalized Veterans

Vets4Vets team members recently visted Portland VAMC patients. From left to right are Wesa Opton, Brittany Degen, Veteran Michael Rempelstory, Kimberly Douglas and Monica Carlson.

Vets4Vets team members recently visted Portland VAMC patients. From left to right are Wesa Opton, Brittany Degen, Veteran Michael Rempelstory, Kimberly Douglas and Monica Carlson.

By James Hakeem Jr.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Vets4Vets group of former professional sports team dancers, visited with inpatients at the Portland VA Medical Center on Sunday, August 21, 2011. Members of the newly formed organization included Kimberly Douglas, Brittany Degen, Wesa Opton, and Monica Carlson along with the team’s founder John Curry. Members of Vets 4 Vets have danced for teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Super Sonics, Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Winterhawks.

Vets4Vets provides an outlet for former dancers who want to continue to give back to America’s Heroes. Visiting with patients is one way organizations can donate to the hospital. “We know that being hospitalized isn’t fun, It can be very monotonous” said Opton. “We’re happy just to come up here and provide a little break to these men and women and help take their mind off their predicament.”

John Curry, a US Navy Veteran, has been instrumental in team visits to the hospital over the last several years. This past year he has spearheaded visits by the Portland Winterhawks and Vancouver Volcanoes dance teams. “I have no doubt that someday I’ll be a patient in this hospital,” Curry said “I just hope there will be people out there then that will be doing this kind of stuff.”

If your group or if you know of a group that would like to brighten the day of our hospitalized Veterans with a visit you can contact Voluntary Services at the Portland VA Medical Center by calling 503-220-8262 ext. 55042. “Even if you can visit for just a few minutes it can make a big difference in their day,” said Opton.

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