Shreveport College Students Serve Those Who Have Served Our Country Contributed by Kristi Kohl, Campus Librarian Shreveport Campus Business Office Management students Natasha Bell, Donna Porterfield, and Jenny Pierson have begun offering weekly volunteer services at the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center (VAMC), in northwestern Louisiana, inspired by a visit from Madelyn Mirador, Director of Volunteer Services at the Center. Shreveport College Students Discover Volunteer Opportunities at VAMC Ms. Mirador came to the Shreveport Campus's National Technical Honor Society Chapter meeting in July. At the meeting, Ms. Mirador encouraged students to volunteer their time at the medical center and discussed the volunteer opportunities available, including veteran transportation to/from appointments, serving beverages, assisting with the billing department, or simply sitting and conversing with veterans who are without family or friends. In her presentation, Ms. Mirador stressed the importance of gaining exposure to different aspects of the hospital and using the volunteer experience as a networking opportunity. She also highlighted the fact that community service adds a desirable element to résumés. Ms. Mirador distributed packets to those interested in setting up an appointment to begin the approval process for volunteers, which includes an extensive background check. She also stated that she is looking forward to meeting more Remington College students in the future and hopes to maintain a relationship with us at the Shreveport Campus. About the Overton Brooks VAMC Shreveport's VA hospital admitted its first patient in 1950 and was renamed in honor of former Louisiana Fourth District Congressman Overton Brooks in 1988. The Center provides medical, surgical, neurological, and psychiatric care. Originally holding 450 beds, the Center reduced its bed level to 112 due to an increase in outpatient services. The VAMC currently serves more than 131,000 veterans from 15 northeast Texas counties, five southwestern Arkansas counties, and 12 northwest Louisiana parishes. Students Discuss the Value of Volunteering at the VA Hospital Jenny Pierson volunteers at the Information Desk answering the phone, responding to visitor questions, and offering directions. Jenny said, "I see volunteering as an opportunity to give back to the community and to network for when I am ready to start my career. I chose the VA hospital because my dad is a vet and my son is in the military. I'm giving back to those who risked their lives so that I can be free to choose how to live my life. I also chose the VA because I'm hoping to be able to use and practice the skills I've learned at Remington College and possibly start a career in their business offices." Natasha Bell pushes a refreshment cart through the hospital, offering patients and visitors coffee, popcorn, and other items. "I decided to volunteer so I can give back to our veterans who have served our country well. This is my way of saying thank you to them for a job well done," Natasha said. Donna Porterfield served in the United States Navy for 20 years as a hospital corpsman and pharmacy technician. Now, she volunteers her time in the Records Department at the VA, photocopying and filing veterans' confidential records. Donna said, "I understand the importance and urgency of veterans being able to receive the proper documentation for their ongoing medical care. It is an honor to serve fellow veterans."