Veteran’s Day Dinner

For the past several years, Vittles for Vets has been supported by student volunteers from the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (SAMOPS) at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in Blacksburg. This student-lead organization recognizes the unique position that osteopathic physicians hold within the US Armed Forces and the defense of our nation. Each year, a group of medical students, all members of SAMOPS and currently serving in the military, volunteer their time to pick up food from local food banks each month and deliver the items to over a dozen of the veterans in the Vittles for Vets program who are homebound or have difficulty getting around.

This year, SAMOPS is led by Thaddeus Wegrzyn, 2nd Lieutenant, US Army. For Veteran’s Day, Thaddeus and a group of 1st and 2nd year SAMOPS student-volunteers hand-prepared and delivered a meal to the veterans they serve and spent quality time visiting and conversing with each one. As one veteran recalled, the SAMOPS volunteers make them feel valued and let them know they are not forgotten, when some have little to look forward to.

Our founder, Bill McCann, recently sent a letter to the president of VCOM commending the members of SAMOPS and their dedication to our veterans. When informed of the letter, Thaddeus had this to say: “While I'm not a doctor yet, there's no need to wait to help others. I only hope to emulate those I look up to who serve people in need at their own inconvenience.” We’re fortunate to have such caring and empathetic young men and women supporting our program and our veterans!