RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dr. Beverly Jones is settling in for a stay at Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center, but she is not there as a working physician. Instead, she traveled to Richmond from Atlanta to offer support.
“My brother’s in the hospital,” she explains.
Jones and other loved ones are living at the hospital’s Fisher House for six weeks. Comfort Care Volunteers like Beverly VanTull help to make it a home away from home.
“She is an excellent fit for a place like this,” says Jones. about VanTull.
VanTull served fifteen years in the United States Army. Just 30 days after leaving Ft. Lee, she began giving her time at McGuire.
“I ended up getting out of the military in 2013 and looked forward to continuing to serve in a different way. I got to work with some great soldiers, and I get to take care of some great veterans now,” VanTull says. “I see them, and I understand what they’ve gone through and where they’ve been, what they’ve been doing, and we can talk shop.”
VanTull completed two tours in Iraq and lived in Germany, Texas and Virginia during her military career. VanTull feels she was also meant to give back in this way right here in Richmond.
“I just can’t help myself but to talk to everyone, and it’s strange because I’m not necessarily classically Southern, my family’s from New York,” she explains. “But when I came here, it was as if this is where I was supposed to have been born.”
Jones soaks in the love and kindness from all the volunteers, including VanTull. She is so inspired by them, she now cannot wait to volunteer with veterans back home in Georgia.
“If you have just an hour, give back, spend that time. It truly makes a difference,” says VanTull. “They need that support as much as they gave it.”
Saturday, October 22 is National Make a Difference Day. For volunteer opportunities in Richmond, follow this link.