CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Over 170 veteran hospitals across the country submitted nominations for 13 different awards at the annual National Advisory Committee meeting. And this year, a volunteer at Louis A. Johnson’s VA Medical Center received the 2022 National Female Volunteer of the Year award.

Dortha Parsons has been volunteering with the medical center since 1977, putting in over 33,000 volunteer hours. She is the first Clarksburg VA hospital personnel to receive a national award. Assisting with a variety of trades, Parsons currently greets veterans waiting for diagnostic services.

Dortha Parson with her National Female Volunteer of the Year award

While struggling with her depression, Parsons could not stay in the house. It was recommended that she used her free time to volunteer. During her time at the VA, she has helped in chaplain services, recreation therapy, and information technology. Not only does Parsons volunteer for veterans, but she also donates to organizations in an effort to support them. Other organizations she is active in include:

  • American Legion Auxiliary
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Auxiliary Order of the Rebekahs

When discussing why volunteering is important, Dortha Parsons said, “Our country is free because of the veterans, and I believe we need to service them as much as we can. And it gives me purpose to know that I’m coming out and joining with the family, and because I don’t have much family around close. It’s something to feel deep within your heart, to know that you’re needed, but also that you need them.”

The veterans even gave Parsons a sheriff badge for when she was gone during the pandemic. She had said that “they were wondering when the sheriff would be coming back to town.” Dortha Parsons wears her badge proudly, along with her other badges and volunteer pins. She encourages others to join her in volunteering, by coming out and meeting some of the veterans to see the family atmosphere.

If interested in volunteering at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center, opportunities can be found here.