Veterans to Village Program Makes a Lasting Impact on DaVita Teammate
I am an eight-year veteran (1972-1980) of the United States Air Force. It has been in excess of 35 years since my military separation, so my memories flooded my mind upon arrival as a student participant in the DaVita Veterans to Village (V2V) program. At first, I did not think the program would be relevant for my needs, but to my amazement, I was mistaken.
Most veterans tend to be like porcupines: “they have a lot of good points, but you just can’t get close to them.” But then the DaVita V2V program comes along and this old vet was glad to a part of it.
Beginning with the fellowship of other veterans and teammates, against the backdrop of the beautiful Lake Washington, the bonding of memorable relationships ensued. The mission was to mix and mingle, and this we did! It seemed to be one seamless process of bonding and renewing of experiences with both the military and DaVita.
Our next mission involved a community service project at the local Soldier’s Home. Even after a long flight, this project was a total inspiration to my soul. Our task was three-fold—first, we reflected on the past sacrifices of fellow veterans during a visit at the Veteran’s Cemetery. Second, the group teamed up in a labor of appreciation of the Veterans by pruning and landscaping much of the grounds. This investment of time was so very fulfilling for this old Airman. Finally, we reflected on the present occupants of the home by writing encouraging notes and cards of thanks for their military service to the United States. The cards were presented to the staff and they seemed overwhelmed by our acts of genuine support and caring. The mission was a success in team building and community building.
The content part of this program was second to none! Leadership and empowerment strategies all shaped and challenged us as teammates and veterans to personify the core values, not just for working at DaVita, but also for our lives. Many of the younger and older vets found meaning for the future and closure from the past with the very timely presentations rendered by the leadership team. Thank you for this wonderful and powerful Village asset. I no longer feel like a porcupine.