MONTGOMERY, Ala., (February 15, 2012) -- Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS) hosted a complimentary Valentines for Veterans (V4V) Concert, featuring “The Platters,” in downtown Montgomery’s Davis Theater February 10.
“They were wonderful,” said a Veteran as he danced through the lobby of Troy University’s Davis Theater for the Performing Arts following 90 minutes of clapping, dancing and singing…at that describes the audience!
“They can certainly sing, but when they came into the audience and got some of the Veterans to participate; those were special moments.”
Audience participation began early in the night. “Can I get a Hooah,” asked the evening’s Mistress of Ceremony Tonya Terry, and star of 12News’ Today in Alabama, after explaining her father is an Army Veteran. “Are you ready for The Platters?” The resounding, “Yes,” that came back from the more than 1,000 in attendance made it clear they were ready to party!
“Even though we’re all here to enjoy a concert from The Platters; given the military nature of our audience as well as the patriotic fervor all Alabamians share – we knew song should be the first we heard tonight,” said Terry as she introduced Air Force Tech. Sgt. William Page, from Maxwell-Gunter’s NCO Academy who provided a moving a cappella version of the National Anthem, and Tuskegee University’s U.S. Air Force ROTC, Detachment 15, U.S. Army ROTC, Tiger Battalion and U.S. Navy ROTC who presented the colors.
Terry also took time to acknowledge the mix of Veterans in the audience. From World War II to Veterans from Operation New Dawn and those who recently returned from service in the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan – all were recognized and honored.
With an audience ready and raring to go, CAVHCS Interim Director, Anthony Dawson took time to acknowledge the generosity of local sponsors as well as national underwriting. “Their Chief Executive Officer, Mike Lynch was unable to join us tonight, said Dawson as he explained that the Valentines for Veterans Concert Series was supported nationally by Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) www.HHV.org. “It’s only through their leadership and generosity that the Valentines for Veterans Concert Series is a reality.
The Valentines for Veterans Concert Series is part of the week-long VA National Salute to Veteran Patients celebrated during the week of Valentine’s Day each year at VA medical facilities nationwide. The purpose of the week-long celebration is to pay tribute to Veterans, increase awareness of the needs of hospitalized veterans, and provide an additional opportunity to express appreciation for the sacrifices of America’s Veterans. The concerts are also a great way for Veterans and their families to share time together…especially in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
Prior to the concert The Platters made a visit to the Montgomery VA Medical Center where they met with staff and Veterans alike. “It’s perfect to have The Platters concert scheduled to coincide with our annual National Salute to Veteran Patients,” said CAVHCS Chief of Voluntary Service, William Petty. “During our National Salute – whether it’s visiting with Veterans or sending post cards we always have great support from River Region communities.
“But, the Platters’ visit was something special,” added Petty. “As they were entering one room someone told the Veteran that the Platters were there to visit. The Veteran’s demeanor changed completely and he broke into song – singing, ‘Only You! The Platters were blown away. In fact, they mentioned the visit during the concert.”
CAVHCS’ Valentines for Veterans Concert also served as a Welcome Home for the River Region’s recently deployed service members and their families. CAVHCS works directly with the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Programs, which are designed to provide information, services, referral, and proactive outreach programs to Soldiers and Airmen as well as their families through all phases of the deployment cycle.