VA » Health Care » Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas » Houston VAMC 2019 Volunteer of the Year
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
Houston VAMC 2019 Volunteer of the Year
By Todd Goodman, Public Affairs Specialist
Wednesday, January 22, 2020Army and Vietnam Veteran Oscar Broussard recently was named Houston VA Medical Center’s 2019 Volunteer of the Year.
Broussard, a nine-year volunteer with 2,829 service hours, has an immense spirit of giving back. He volunteers with VA on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and on other days of the week he can be found volunteering with Red Cross. He is practically as busy in retirement as he was when he worked full time.
“Basically, I was sitting at home watching TV and thought, ‘There has to be something better than this in retirement,’” he said. “I love to volunteer. It’s gratifying. I look forward to seeing the patients and they look forward to seeing me. We’ve got a good rapport going.”
Broussard volunteers with the Homeless Program as well on inpatient wards, distributing snacks to hungry Veterans.
“What I enjoy most about volunteering is giving back,” he said. “And it’s not just the patients. It’s the staff walking around the hallways. You’ve got to give an appreciation for what they do as well.”
Broussard’s love of giving back came from his grandmother, who raised both him and his six siblings.
“There were seven of us when our parents died,” he said. “My grandmother instilled values like responsibility and respect in us and just taught us life’s lessons.”
Broussard volunteers so often that it influenced his wife, Angeline, to sign up as a VA volunteer as well.
“He was gone so much, I never got to see him,” said Angeline. “For me to see Oscar, I had to volunteer. But seriously, all of the accolades go to my husband. He is kind and just a nice guy. If I had to special order a husband, he is the one I would order. He’s got that giving heart.”
Broussard says that when God blesses him, he feels an obligation to bless someone else, whether it’s with a smile, a friendly greeting, or asking how he can help.
“Oscar has a heart of gold,” said Barbra Bell, Houston VAMC Voluntary Service chief. “He is very committed and his responsibilities have grown over the years.”
Broussard has helped facilitate six coffee cart donations to the facility and coordinates the refreshments that go on those carts.
“He is there for us and our Veterans at the drop of a hat for whatever we need,” said Bell. “He helps with our stand downs and other special events. He’s a good team player and very easy to work with.”
When Angeline spots Broussard doing his thing at the VA, she has but one thought.
“When I see him moving through the hallways with that cart, I think, ‘This is one of the best jobs in the world.’”