RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN)- It started as word of the mouth at Monument Health in Rapid City, now a program in the entire Monument Health system, it's called Operation Patriot. This program honors veterans in the hospital. If a patient has served in the military, they will receive a pin and a certificate.
Martha Maron, a volunteer nurse, is the one who first started Operation Patriot in 2017. As a fellow veteran, Maron has always wanted to let veterans know that they are appreciated. Sonya Randazzo, a Monument Health employee and the chair of Monument Health Military and Veterans Group, has taken part in Operation Patriot since last December. She has been really moved by the reaction from the veterans, and said when she visited a veteran patient with the pin and certificate "... he was in tears, because it's just...just made him happy because people cared."
If anyone has been in Monument Health system but hasn't been asked about their veteran status, please let the nurse or caregiver know, someone with the program will reach out.