By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A special recognition event was held Monday for some local veterans who couldn’t get out to celebrate.

The Minneapolis VA is filled with patients who have proudly served, but many of them are too injured or sick to leave.

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So as WCCO’s Reg Chapman shows us, the VA brings the gratitude and the pride of Veterans Day to them.

On their day off, staff and employees at the Minneapolis VA volunteered time to bring their heroes down from their rooms to the Flag Atrium for some special recognition.

“It’s hard for people to get out, especially when they’re ill or they don’t have the mobility that it requires to get out into those community programs,” Recreational Therapist Michell Patterson said.

Veterans in wheelchairs, attached to IVs, even Veterans in hospital beds gathered around the podium to hear speeches and music that celebrated their service.

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Michelle Patterson and Ret. Maj. General George Steiner came up with the idea of the program when they noticed there was nothing to honor Veterans who are being cared for at the VA.

“Because my father devoted his life to service of this country, I feel like it’s a tribute to my own family and my loved ones that have been military. I just feel like our veterans deserve this,” Patterson said.

“I came in from Chicago to be with him on Veterans Day because obviously he’s my hero,” Carla Anyaso said.

Carla Anyaso says this program means the world to her husband, Vincent. The 23-year Marine Veteran served 13 tours of duty, two directly after 911.

The gunnery sergeant turned lawyer suffered cardiac arrest. His wife says this ceremony is the best therapy of all.

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“This is a way that he could still have something. He can hear the music, he can have the other veterans around him and have the camaraderie because he’s not able to go out. He’s still able to enjoy and be around his comrades. That’s the most important thing,” Anyaso said.

Reg Chapman