VA2K Walk & Roll: Event part of nationwide effort to help veterans

Published 12:05 am Friday, May 19, 2023

SALISBURY — For any veteran who is trying to get healthier, it’s important to focus on the body and the mind. On Wednesday, the W.G. (Bill) Hefner Salisbury Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center hosted the 13th annual VA2K Walk & Roll event to highlight being active while also helping homeless veterans at the same time.

The center was just one of many around the country where veterans, employees, and citizens came out to participate in a 1.24 mile walk. The emphasis is on the “walk and roll,” with so many veterans dealing with physical limitations, the VA encouraged anyone who wanted to join to come to the event.

“It’s really meant to acknowledge people of all ability levels and how we can engage and connect and do healthy things. It’s really about knowing that the VA isn’t just here to care for illness and injury, but promote health and well-being for our veterans and employees,” Whole Health Program Director Christina Vair at the Salisbury VA Health Care System said.

Besides the walk, the center offered a health information fair to promote internal VA services, various kinds of therapy, non-profit organizations, and other sponsors. The event was free to the public, but donations for the “Homeless Veteran Program” were being accepted.

“It’s a great way to bring awareness to the homeless population, to include community partners to come out and donate items which are greatly needed for any of our homeless population,” Melissa Luckowski, representing the Health Care for Homeless Veterans Program, said.

Army veteran David Brown is from Mooresville and his daughter is doing a residency in pharmacy at the center. Brown says he is proud to be a veteran and that his daughter is working there, too. To him, it’s reassuring that the kind of veterans who are in the most need of assistance are being looked after.

“It’s so uplifting because some veterans don’t have family to support them anymore,” Brown said. “They have mental problems, they have flashbacks, things they’ve seen that they may need to talk to someone about. Medical issues, they’ve got a wonderful facility here to address any problems.”