The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) recently selected El Campo, Tx. resident Georgia Mican as its Volunteer of the Year.
As a volunteer van driver for seven years, Mican drives from El Campo to Houston so Veterans, who are unable to drive themselves for a variety of reasons, may obtain health care at the MEDVAMC. Drivers for the Veterans Transportation Network transport more than 10,000 Veterans between Houston and Woodville, Beaumont, Angleton, Bay City, El Campo, Willis, and Cleveland each year.
“Georgia’s get-up-and-go attitude is infectious and everyone around her feels it,” said Bryan Dyck, Voluntary Service Program Manager. “Her volunteer work at the DeBakey VA is especially important for Veterans who need medical attention and have no means of transportation or are apprehensive about driving in overcrowded Houston traffic.”
Most Veterans spend the hour and a half drive to Houston sleeping; however, on the way back to El Campo, Mican says the group comes to life talking about such favorite topics as food, where to eat, and who is barbecuing.
“We are like one big family and I can’t help but love them,” said Mican, who is known for her compassion and big heart. “You just try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes, a kind word can help someone get through a rough day and make them feel like the most special person in the world; you never know what it can do.”
Mican and her husband of 30 years have two sons, one who served in the Navy. They know she enjoys volunteering at the VA and serving our Nation’s Veterans.
“If my son, and so many others like him, can make such a sacrifice for our country, then I feel like I need to do my part. Veterans have served and now they need our care and support,” said Mican. “That might mean driving a van, helping them find their appointment, or a few words of encouragement. I say think positive and everything will be okay.”
“Georgia can make people smile by just walking into a room,” said Army Air Corp World War II Veteran Joe Leslie. “Her upbeat, energetic attitude gives Veterans who ride her van a cheerful ride to and from Houston.”
When asked what her favorite part of volunteering is, Mican answered, “Just being with the Veterans! And the conversation - I love to hear their stories.”
Mican enjoys being with people and her riders appreciate her company, often asking her to sit with them during their appointments. She does not mind, saying she wants to be there for them and hopes if her son ever needs help, someone will be there for him.
It is because of her incredible attitude and for her dedication to Veterans that Mican was chosen as the MEDVAMC Volunteer of the Year. The MEDVAMC honors community volunteers like Mican during National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2011. For more about volunteering, contact the MEDVAMC Voluntary Service Office at (713) 794-7135, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.houston.va.gov.