VA Northern California Health Care System
Parade of Families
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the VA Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care (CREC) in Martinez, California, has been forced to close its door to visitors, including families of Veterans who are receiving care. In response, VA Northern California Health Care System’s Recreation Therapy Service organized a “Parade of Families” for the CREC residents in celebration of Independence Day. Starting the morning of July 3, families slowly drove their vehicles in front of the facility as Veterans receiving care at CREC stood by as spectators of the parade, many of whom shed tears throughout the event. Joining CREC family members as parade participants were VA NorCal employees from Nursing, Social Work, Engineering, Environmental, Police, and Chaplain services. The parade proved to be one of the CREC’s most successful events since the pandemic began. Extreme measures were taken in social distancing, masking, and hand sanitizing to ensure safety and still provide a fun atmosphere.