Veterans Affairs honors 94-year-old volunteer for 15,000 hours of service
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — The Veterans Affairs Center for Development and Civic Engagement held a special awards ceremony on Thursday for its volunteers.
The awards ceremony gave guests the Hollywood treatment, complete with a red runway, emcees, and a catered lunch.
“Although we’ve been in business since 1932 at the Columbia VA, taking care of 36 counties across this great state, we would never be successful if we didn’t have all of these volunteers that are helping find ways around campus, helping to make reminder calls to Veterans and just being the great people they are,” says CEO of Columbia VA Healthcare System David Omura.
One volunteer was given a very special award. Ninety-four-year-old Dorothy Dickert received an award for having more than 15,000 volunteer hours — mostly spent calling Veterans to remind them of doctor’s appointments.
“I enjoyed all these hours, I really like to talk to the people. And I’ve had a lot of nice people that I have met. And some of them I just call my phone friends,” Dickert says.
Dickert didn’t serve in the military, but her husband Dick was in the Air Force. She says she takes pride in volunteering.
“They are very very important to me because I’ve been through WWII and all these other wars, and I just know that they have all protected me,” Dickert says.
After 13 years of service, Dickert continues to volunteer.
“I appreciate the Veterans and a lot of them appreciate me. And I just like being able to do for people,” she says.
Omura finds that volunteers like Dickert are unique, saying, “It’s phenomenal. There aren’t people that typically are so giving of their time to others. And she is such a great admiration for our Veterans and appreciates them so much, that this is her priority,” Omura says.
Dickert believes the secret to a beautiful life lies in two things. “Being good to people, and just…enjoy life,” she says.
Dickert will turn 95-years-old this December.