In 2007 the Getty Security department was approached by the VA (Veterans Affairs) to see if we could arrange a visit to the Getty Center for some of the veterans at their facility off Sepulveda Boulevard at Constitution Avenue. Of course we could! The first visit was coordinated through the Getty shuttle service—and since then it’s become a regular program.
Carrie Brandlin, a recreation therapist with 25 years of voluntary service experience who’s worked at the Veterans Hospital for 10 years, initially reached out to us. After noticing some of the Getty shuttles staged at the Constitution Lot (our backup lot for high-visitorship days), she contacted the Getty to see whether she could arrange a visit to by interested veterans. The first visit was such a hit that we all decided to continue the program on a monthly basis.
On designated days and times, we send a free shuttle to pick up any veterans who are capable and interested to attend, as well as their family members who want to visit the Getty Center. After two or three hours, our shuttle takes these special visitors back to the VA. I help by coordinating this service.
According to Carrie, “the Getty is helping to serve American heroes while furthering the VA’s mission.” That mission is to improve the health of the served VA population by providing primary care, specialty care, extended care, and related social support services in an integrated healthcare delivery system.
Many different veterans pass through the VA domicile at Constitution prior to reintegrating into civilian life. They come with different backgrounds, not only the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Visiting the Getty Center helps them get involved in the community, have a free, positive leisure experience, learn about art, and interact with other people. It also allows some veterans to spend quality time with their families. So far, the program has averaged approximately ten veterans a month.
Judging by the favorable response from participating veterans, it’s something they appreciate and enjoy. We’re delighted to be able to meet these men and women and offer them a memorable outing.