• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Visit a Vet Program Salutes Those Who Served

November 11, 2015

Blue Angels pilots visits patient in hospital bed

This story appears this week In the Loop.

Debbie Daugherty was driving home from work shortly before Christmas a couple years back when she noticed a U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program truck. The soldiers collecting donations made her think of her father, a decorated veteran who served 30 years in the Marines, including tours in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. He'd been having health issues, and had moved in with Daugherty. She decided to ask the soldiers for a favor.

"I did a U-turn, drove back to them, and asked if they'd follow me home, give me two minutes of their time, and say hello to my dad," says Daugherty, an operations manager at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. "I thought they'd think I was crazy." Instead, "They said 'Yes, Ma'am,' and followed me home." That two-minute request stretched into a two-hour visit, during which Daugherty saw "a whole change in my dad's countenance. He just beamed." As did a light bulb in her head. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could bring that to our patients?'"  Read the rest of the story.

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