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Commissioner Johnson Visits Vets on National Salute to Veterans Patients Program in February


The National Salute to Veterans Patients Program is celebrated every year during the week of February 14. The Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners issues a proclamation recognizing the sacrifices and contributions made by our veterans and their families. I am pleased that our chair, Art De La Cruz, sponsors this proclamation which encourages our residents to show their appreciation of our veterans.

Each year, I go to the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Medical Center and visit with our veterans and their families. This year, I spent my time in the wards on the fifth and third floors. Veterans in these areas need special care or are pre/post-operative patients. Besides personally thanking each one of them for their service, I was able to present them with Bernalillo County lapel pin and a tote bag which had a water bottle. But more importantly, I was able to give them get well, thank you or Valentine’s Day cards sent to them by local schoolchildren. Our small acts of kindness and appreciation mean so much to these brave men and women who are now facing their own battles. 

The interesting part of my visit has always been hearing the stories and tales from our veterans. From a lieutenant colonel who had served in three wars, to a professor who was writing songs memorializing the events of 9/11, everyone that I was able to visit was upbeat and positive. Unless I asked, they did not talk about their illness. When they did, they were all quick to mention that the care at the medical center was great, support staff was exceptional and the doctors were given a rating of “outstanding".

I was humbled and honored by the many requests I received to have my picture taken with our veterans and their families. But out of respect for their privacy, I will not post them. I was the one blessed by their compassion.  

So I encourage you to take some time out from your busy schedule and in your own way, reach out to our veterans and let them know that we are grateful for their service.


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  • Kids ages 10 to 14 years old! Join us Feb. 19 and May 18 for a Camp In at Los Vecinos Community Center from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. THe cost is $15 per child and does not include the activity fee.
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