Hampton VA Medical Center
Hampton Vets returning home after Irene
Hampton, VA – It was a long trip for them, but keeping them safe was the main goal. Now it’s time to bring them back home.
The staff at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, WV, and staff from the Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Richmond, VA, greeted over 160 Veterans from the Hampton VAMC last Thursday, who had been evacuated because of Hurricane Irene.
“Our main goal is our patient’s safety,” said DeAnne M. Seekins, Hampton VAMC director. “We needed to evacuate our Veterans who were in our Domiciliary and Spinal Cord Injury Units so that they would be safe during the storm and we could decompress our campus. Now that the storm has passed, it’s time to bring them home.”
Officials from Hampton VAMC shared, that it is not routine to evacuate the medical center, but when weather conditions are as ominous as what was predicted for the impact of Hurricane Irene, patient safety is their number one goal.
“We do this right,” said Seekins. “Our Veterans are like our family. For many of them, this is their home. Many of our SCI Veterans are very mobile in their wheel chairs and we just needed to make sure they were safe during the storm.”
Officials at Martinsburg and Richmond sister VA facilities took great care of the Veterans. But it wasn’t just about giving the Veterans a place to stay, according to staff. It was also about making sure they received the help that each needed at the same time.
“We wanted to provide for these guys – they’ve traveled a long way, they came from a rough situation with the hurricane – so we wanted to make their stay here was as comfortable as possible,” said Martinsburg recreation assistant Darren Yowell.
Seekins explained that as the team gets back to normal at Hampton VAMC, the last piece of business is ensuring that every one of its Veterans is safely back home to Hampton VAMC. “I won’t rest until the last bus has delivered our Veterans back home,” said Seekins.