Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Operation Baby Shower
On Saturday, April 21, Truman VA hosted a first time event - Operation Baby Shower. This shower was held in honor of Women Veterans who have recently delivered babies or who will deliver in the next month.
Since January 2011, twenty-two Women Veterans have received health care at Truman VA during their pregnancies. These Women Veterans were all invited to attend Saturday’s shower. The shower was filled with a luncheon, gifts, games, and stories about military service.
Ashley Marlow was one of the newest mothers to attend. Ashley joined the Army in 2003 and served in the Military Police until September 2010. During her service, she served two tours in Iraq. Ashley came to Truman VA through the OEF/OIF Program. Her new baby, Myla, was born prematurely at 32 weeks. After two weeks in an area hospital, Ashley reports that Myla is doing well and is now in a crib. Ashley attended the shower Saturday with her husband. “I want to thank everyone for putting it on. I was so grateful, because it took my mind off what was going on with Myla,” Ashley says. Since Myla arrived early, this was the only shower Ashley had attended for her second child.
Truman VA received wonderful support from local service organizations and area businesses. Gift donations included strollers, bibs, bottles, diapers, blankets, pacifiers, homemade blankets, gift certificates, baby wipes, and baby toys. “We, along with other organizations, are grateful for the opportunity to host a shower for our female Veterans,” said Cindy Stivers, Women Veterans Program Manager.
Thanks to all of our donors and attendees (American Legion and Auxiliary, Boone County Health Department, Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association, Daughters of American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans [DAV] and Auxiliary, Kilgore’s Lactation nurse, Mary Kay consultant, Salvation Army, Veterans of Foreign Wars [VFW] and Auxiliary). “This was a another chance for us to make sure female Veterans know the benefits they are entitled to,” said Stivers.
Women Veterans may also have some needs that differ from the rest of the female population. At VA, they can get prenatal care, lab services and mental health counseling specific to their experiences and needs. Expectant mothers still get their ultrasounds and deliver their babies at local area hospitals, but women really appreciate having more access to care here at Truman VA. Learn more about health care for Women Veterans.
Truman VA’s Women Veterans Program plans to host Operation Baby Shower on an annual basis for new and expectant Veteran mothers. Those interested in supporting the next shower may contact Voluntary Service.