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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Female Veteran Still Serving Our Nation's Heroes

April 21, 2009

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It is because of her wonderful attitude and dedication to fellow Veterans that Karen Shaver was chosen as the MEDVAMC Volunteer of the Year for 2009. Above, Shaver assists Veteran Jackie Hall. Photo by: Nikki Verbeck, Voluntary Services Specialist


Volunteer of the Year gives her time to serve
our Nation’s hospitalized Veterans

Houston - Karen Shaver moves quickly. One minute she is in her office getting comfort kits ready to deliver to our female Veterans, the next she is asking the volunteer staff if they need help with anything.

Shaver, a former Navy Corpsman, is a wonderful volunteer with a dynamic personality. She volunteers at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC) two to three days a week. A Veteran herself, she is the Commander of the Women Veterans of America and works closely with the female Veterans at the medical center.

Although Shaver recently retired as a nurse for Waller County Jail, volunteering has been a part of her life for a long time. “I enjoy it, it’s a lot of fun, and you meet a lot of nice people. You know that you’re helping someone, you feel like you’re doing something,” says Shaver.

She spends most of her time at the VA putting together comfort kits to deliver to the female inpatient Veterans. During her visits, she often finds that what the patient really needs is someone to talk to. “Yesterday, I talked to a lady for 30 minutes. She needed that talk, and we both felt better afterwards.”

“We are here to make people feel better and help them through their hospital stay,” said Shaver. Shaver and her husband of 32 years, Harold, both volunteer at MEDVAMC. She says it keeps them both young and they meet such nice people. When asked what her favorite part is, she says “the people, that’s what keeps me coming back. I love helping people.”

It is because of this wonderful attitude and for her dedication to fellow Veterans that Shaver was chosen as the MEDVAMC Volunteer of the Year for 2009.  The MEDVAMC honors community volunteers like Shaver during National Volunteer Week, April 19 - 25, 2009.  Shaver encourages others to find out more about being a VA volunteer by calling the MEDVAMC Voluntary Service Office at (713) 794-7135.

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