Celebrating Our Veterans
“We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.”
Today, we observe Veterans Day, and this anonymous quote about members of our military reminds me of the boundless gratitude I feel, along with so many others, for their service to our country.
While it would be impossible to know and personally thank all who have served, we can begin by honoring our veterans right here at Duke. Did you know we have more than 1,200 veterans working across the university and health system? They bring a unique skillset and perspective to our teams and to patients, their families and the communities we serve. Their life experiences, resilience and deep commitment to service are critical assets, especially as we continue to work together to fight COVID-19 in our community.
Several years ago, we established the Duke Military Association – an affinity group that brings together veterans, their loved ones and their allies to build camaraderie, advocate for good and serve our communities. To learn more or join the DMA, please visit their website.
At Duke, we have faculty and staff who care for veterans at the Durham VA, and I want to acknowledge their continued support of our veterans’ health and well-being. Many of our veterans have served one or multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 20 years, and those experiences can feel particularly heavy at times – especially given recent events. If you are experiencing stress or mental health challenges, please know that resources are available to support you and help you process current events. Please get in touch with our Personal Assistance Service. Duke Raleigh Hospital and Wake County-based team members can call Business Health Services at 800-327-2251. And a comprehensive list of support services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can be accessed here.
To all in Duke Health, I invite you to pause and salute all those who have served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserve. Let us also express our appreciation for their families and loved ones, who have supported them during their service and beyond. The freedoms we enjoy each and every day are a result of their courage, dedication and sacrifice.
A. Eugene Washington, M.D.
Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University
President and CEO, Duke University Health System