On this blustery, cold day at the VA Medical Center in Montgomery, Daina Andrews is delivering a dose of warmth.
Andrews helped one military veteran with some paperwork, and then it's an elevator ride to the third floor where Andrews will visit Thomas Lewis, a Navy veteran, one of several patients Andrews will see in an 8 hour day.
"Anything I can do for you, Mr. Lewis?," Andrews asked. This is Daina's life.
"I just have a heart to serve, and it takes the focus off me," she explained.
Ask anybody at the VA Medical Center and they'll tell you Daina Andrews is a Godsend.
"She reduces the workload in my area so I can concentrate on other duties that need to be done," said VA travel clerk Keith Sutton.
VA Medical Center officials say they're working now to offer Andrews a full time job.
From the Customer Service office back to another desk downstairs to help yet another military veteran. It's the compassion deep inside that makes her tick, starting with her own disabilities of cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Andrews sees her challenges as gifts, gifts that allow her to become more compassionate towards the veterans.
It's that characteristic Kerry Williams remembers all too well.
"This was about 4 years ago, and I just remember she went the extra mile to make sure I got my paperwork done. I never forgot that," said Williams who fought in the first Gulf War in the United States Army.
Andrews has just about done it all at the VA Medical Center and never gets tired of it. Andrews has put in more than 10,000 hours of volunteer work over a 12-year period but she says those hours can never add up to what she's gained in returned, a priceless joy of knowing she's relieved a burden.
Daina Andrews is making a difference in the halls of the VA.
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