BRAWLEY — Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) held a Veteran’s Day Flag Raising Ceremony near the hospital’s front entrance Thursday morning to honor veterans.
Several hospital officials spoke about their admiration for veterans, and Amy Atwood, an employee at Pioneers Health Center, read a poem she wrote while she was a high school junior to honor veterans.
“Pioneers has active, and veteran, service members among our team,” said Frank Salazar, PMHD director of Communications and Public Affairs. “These employees, physicians, and volunteers have made remarkable contributions to our country, and we are proud that they are a part of our Pioneers family.”
“Today is a special day because we are represented by our veterans,” said PMHD Board Vice President Maria Garcia-Aguilera. “We have veterans here as staff members at our hospital and in our community. We know they served our country for good reasons; for our freedom and for us to be safe here on our mainland. They go overseas and leave their families. To our veterans and their families, thank you very much for your service.”
“Thank you for coming out today to recognize our veterans,” said PMHD CEO Larry Lewis. “I have had the special honor of talking to a few of our veterans in our hospital. Some are in leadership, some are on our board, friends, and family members that have served our country. We cannot say enough good about the respect and protection that they have provided us. None of us can imagine what it is like to be out there. It always brings a soft spot to my heart what they had to go through on behalf of our country and us. I thank you very much.”
Imperial County Board Supervisor and PMHD Associate Administrator for Support Services Ryan Kelley also spoke at the ceremony. “We have over 7,000 veterans from Imperial County, including those active today,” Kelley said. “We have one of the highest percentage of veterans in Imperial County than most counties in California. We are trying to do more for our veterans. Currently, we are developing an advisory board with some veteran organizations that will be more responsive to the needs of the veteran community. Here in Imperial County, we have had challenges in getting all of their benefits processed. We are working very hard to make that change. I am glad to be able to share that here today.”