Story by Jennifer Scales on 02/13/2018The National Salute to Veteran Patients Week began with soothing sounds from members of the South Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra followed by Valentine card distributions by Columbia Fire Chief, Aubrey Jenkins, Feb. 12, at the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, S.C.
Inpatient and outpatient Veterans, along with staff members were treated to an hour-long serenade of music as they listened to the instruments of a clarinet, drum, piano, trumpet and violin.
Songs such as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "We Shall Overcome", along with other selections of familiar favorites, brought smiles to those who were present.
Audience Services Director for the SC Philharmonic, Amy Bigham, said that this was just one of many presentations the orchestra has done at the medical center. "We are proud to be a part of some way to give this salute to our heroes," Bigham said.
Tammy Finney, chief of voluntary services at Dorn chimed in by also giving the spotlight to the Veterans. "We all know that freedom isn't free, so whatever we can do, not only during this week, but at any time, is notable. We also want people to know that this is the perfect time for persons who want to volunteer or provide support in some manner to the Veterans of Dorn," Finney said.
The Philharmonic brought its share of Veteran performers to the facility also. They consisted of Army Veteran Joe Eller on clarinet; Winkie Goodwin on piano; Coast Guard Veteran Dick Goodwin on piano and trumpet; Army Veteran Jim Hall on drums, and violinist Tim Baker.
Chief Jenkins later arrived to distribute special handmade Valentine Day cards made by children from various schools around the area.
"I just also wanted to participate in some manner by giving tribute and thanks in some manner to these fine men and women who have made it possible for me to live in a country that is still free," Jenkins said.
Jenkins also saluted his personal family of Veterans who have served, which consists of son, Sheldon Aubrey Argo, a Marine Veteran; and brothers Keith and Theodore, who are Army Veterans.
Finney also thanked Jenkins for his support of the day. "We are thankful for Chief Jenkins who has taken the time out of his busy schedule to come out and show his gratitude to everyone here today," Finney said.