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Veterans Canteen Service (VCS)


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Veterans Canteen Service (VCS)

Established in 1946, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was created to provide articles of merchandise and services at reasonable prices to Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare system, caregivers, and visitors. Since its conception, VCS’ mission continues, incorporating a strategic Veteran-centric approach emphasizing the importance of service to Veterans and supporting VA’s overall mission. VCS provides retail, food, coffee, and vending services across the country.

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OKC Holiday Heroes

Cynthia and man she savedVCS Hero

VCS Food Service Worker Cynthia Rodriguez saved a man’s life by performing the Heimlich maneuver when he was choking.

She noticed one of her regular customers at the El Paso canteen was standing and pointing at his throat during his lunch; his face was red. Without hesitation, Rodriguez rushed over to Segalla and performed the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging the food from the man’s throat.

“I was excited I saved somebody,” Rodriguez said. “It was a blessing to help him.”

This was not Rodriguez’s first experience saving a person’s life with the maneuver. Four years ago, she saved a patient’s life at a prior job with the technique.

“I’m very proud of her,” said Richard Monarrez, the El Paso Canteen Chief. “We’re happy to have our own little hero here.”


Pittsburgh Shoe DeliveryShoe Donation

As a special thank you to VA frontline employees caring for Veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic, Veterans Canteen Service helped Nike donate 3,775 pairs of non-slip athletic nursing shoes to VA employees nationwide. Over 900 of the donated shoes were identified for specific Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) VA employees. DEMPS workers went to other VA hospitals to help with COVID patients. The remainder were pushed out to VA Medical Centers across the country and provided to VA nurses with the help of VA’s Voluntary Services.

OKC VCS TeamOKC Holiday Heroes

Five Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) staff members are spending the holidays helping prepare and deliver meals to patients at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center. Deployed to the medical center Dec. 20, the team will help through Jan. 2.

The team is filling positions for the VA Nutrition & Food Service Department (NFS), which has seen increased needs for meals due to an influx of patients and ill staff from COVID-19. The pandemic has caused a surge of patients, doubling the number of meals needed. The VCS staff members will fill positions with NFS to cook, assemble, and deliver meals for Veteran inpatients.

“We are supporting cooks and foodservice workers by preparing menu items, portioning food on to patient trays, and delivering trays to patients,” said Daniel Walsh, a buyer for VCS Food Operations. “Our time in the kitchen alongside the VA staff has been a very positive experience; they are grateful for our support and our team is eager to assist the VA and serve Veterans in any capacity.”

Another team will deploy to Oklahoma City the week of Dec. 27 to continue serving the inpatients into the new year.

[From left to right:  Andrew Groh (Food Specialist), Forest Hardy (Dallas Assistant Canteen Chief), Beth Pond (Sioux Falls, Assistant Canteen Chief), Tenshi Daniels (Dallas Food Supervisor), Daniel Walsh (Food Buyer)]

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