Fargo VA Health Care System
I CARE Story - Veteran Companion Program
“I have found it very rewarding to be a Veteran Companion - to listen, to encourage, and give the most precious gift of all; the gift of presence,” said Bradley Steen, a volunteer for the Veteran Companion Program at the Fargo VA. “It’s about just being there and having that human connection at a time when illness is very challenging.”
The Companion Program is a volunteer companionship to Veterans and provides emotional and social support to assist Veterans in their healthcare journey by focusing on the Veteran and their individualized needs.
“I became interested in participating in this program because it seemed to fit my personality,” Steen said. “I enjoy sitting and visiting with people and consider myself a good listener.” Bradley spends three to four hours a week with a designated Veteran.
Bradley describes how Veterans share past experiences and stories that retain special meaning to them - “I hope the Veteran is as blessed as I have been. I feel a sense of great appreciation, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity that I have to spend time with and get to know the Veteran. I highly encourage others to consider being part of this wonderful program.