John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan
Mural Painted by Kids at Detroit VA
Construction inside of a VA Medical Center can be challenging, sometimes even frustrating. It can wear on both employees and patients. But, planning for the future is always exciting!
When leadership of the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit began to see the plain white drywall go up on the first floor, as construction of the new South Lobby Expansion began, an idea was hatched: how about murals, painted by kids, to brighten the area?
St. Regis School of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, was the first school to show interest in painting a wall. On June 12th and 13th, eight students and their art teacher, Lynette Timlin, visited with their paints and their vision, for an inspirational wall of greetings and thanks for Veterans. The kids were actually out of school for the summer, and June 12th was their first day of summer vacation!
“Watching the kids paint, the smiles of both Veterans and staff, was heart-warming,” said Dr. Pamela Reeves, Medical Center Director. “These children not only gave us their artwork, but they also learned a lot about the VA and the heroes we serve.”
The wall is in a prominent location, right next to the Registration area. “I’m hearing that tears were shed as the wall went up, as staff and Veterans watched the kids paint and express their thanks to our Veterans,” said Dr. Reeves. “We were able to introduce these young children to many of our patients, so they heard first-hand how much their colorful messages meant.”
The wall will remain for at least a year while construction progresses.
Each young artist signed his or her name in the bottom right area of the mural.