Photo Information

Marines listen to a veteran share his story during their visit to the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center, Phoenix, Sept. 10, 2015. Marine Week Phoenix is a chance to reconnect with Marines, sailors, veterans and their families from different generations.

Photo by Sgt. Justin M. Boling

Marines pay visit to Phoenix VA Hospital

10 Sep 2015 | Sgt. Justin M. Boling Defense Media Activity

Marines and sailors visited veterans at the Carl T. Hayden Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Sept. 10, 2015.

The event was part of Marine Week Phoenix, which brings the Corps to the city and surrounding areas.

“I was surprised by this event,” said 1st Sgt. Cecilio Vallejoi (Ret). “It is a real treat to see all these young men an women wearing the uniform I love so much.”

 Marine musicians played several pieces including the National Anthem while Marines raised the flag at the front of the hospital. A crowd of care providers, patients and their family members were also present. Veterans removed their hats and those that we able, stood at attention while the flag unfurled and slowly climbed to its zenith.

“I volunteered for this event before we came out to Phoenix,” said Sgt. David Wilkinson, an infantryman. “It was humbling and fun to learn their awesome stories for the short time we were here.”

The Marines and sailors visited patients throughout the hospital. They spoke, shook hands and listened to the history of these veterans.

“It has been quite the treat to me,” said Vallejoi, who served form 1952-1977. “Phoenix is full of Marines like me, and I know they love seeing these young guys.”

Marine Week Phoenix is a chance for residents of the greater Phoenix area to connect to Marines, sailors, veterans and their families from different generations.

“This has been a great experience to learn about these men and women, who paved the way for us, “ said Wilkinson.