Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System
VA Employees Recognized for Quick Response
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) Director Bryan C. Matthews recognized three Joint Ambulatory Care Center (JACC) employees during a brief reception May 8 in Pensacola, Florida.
The reception, designed to recognize the efforts of VA employees Delores Miller, Donald Bassett and Kevin Moy’s responses to a May 6 incident involving a Veteran attempting to enter the JACC with a loaded weapon, was a virtual affair, with employees throughout the facility watching and listening electronically as Matthews complimented the employees and presented them VA coins.
“The vigilance and bravery of these VA employees is nothing short of exemplary,” Matthews said. “Their willingness to ensure the safety of our Veterans and employees was on display May 6, and they averted what could have been a devastating situation.”
While the JACC is observing modified entrance procedures, Miller, volunteering to drive a golf cart used to transport Veterans from their vehicles to the facility, noticed a Veteran retrieve what appeared to be a rifle from his vehicle. She immediately notified the JACC VA Police Services, and VA Police Officers Donald Bassett and Kevin Moy swiftly intercepted the Veteran, issued numerous verbal commands and ultimately disarmed and apprehended the individual.
“There’s no doubt that what they did essentially saved the lives of 500 employees that day,” said Alicia Miller, the GCVHCS Associate Director for Outpatient Operations. “They embodied what we want from our VA employees – to take care of our Veterans and each other.”
Immediately after the virtual reception, held in an interior room of the JACC, Delores Miller, Bassett and Moy were escorted outside, where nearly 100 JACC employees and Veterans gave them a round of applause, expressing their thanks.
The JACC, along with the Biloxi Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, and the Mobile, Eglin and Panama City VA Clinics, is part of the GCVHCS, which is headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, and provides a variety of medical outpatient services to more than 70,000 Veterans.