Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
Chaplain Service Honors Volunteer Musicians
Since 1973, Ineta Bebb has played the piano for the Sunday morning Chapel service at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center.
As a volunteer, she typically donates her time twice a month to play hymns for Veterans and their family members. After the service, she then plays the piano for St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Muskogee where she is the musical director.
For Bebb, donating her time is a way for her to give back to our nation’s Veterans.
“I have a God given talent that I’ve been glad to share,” said Bebb, who also volunteers as a vocalist when needed. “It’s the least I can do for people who really need to be inspired.”
On Oct. 22, the Chaplain Service held a Spiritual Care Week Celebration in the Chapel to honor Bebb and eight other volunteer musicians. At every Chapel service, a volunteer pianist and vocalist perform music for the service, which is broadcast for inpatient Veterans on the medical center’s closed circuit television system.
“They’re all excellent musicians,” said Chaplain Julia Shreve. “These are wonderful people who are committed to the spiritual care of our Veterans.”
Muriel Saunders, who has been a volunteer musician for the Chapel service for more than 20 years, typically sings for the service three times a month. She also said she enjoys giving back to Veterans.
“I was an Air Force wife, so I feel like I’m military, too, and this is my way to say thank you to all the Veterans for what they have done for us,” said Saunders. “It’s a privilege to come and do this. It’s a joy. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.”
Saunders said it is gratifying to know that Veterans who are unable to attend the service in the Chapel can watch it on television.
“I really feel that it’s being appreciated,” said Saunders. “Even though they can’t come down to the Chapel, I know they can see it on television. If I can boost somebody’s spirits and help them feel better, than that makes me feel good, too.”
Bebb also said she enjoys the feedback from Veterans and their family members who attend the services.
“You get so much feedback from the people that they like it and that’s always good to get feedback too,” said Bebb. “You always get more out of it than you give.”