For Immediate Release: November 11, 2016
Gary Holland, of Egg Harbor Township, thought being in hospitalized would end one of his Veterans Day traditions.
Holland, is United States Army veteran who served in the military police in Korea from 1970 to 1971, and later at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
He had visited Applebee’s in Mays Landing with his family in 2014 and 2015, and prior to that, an Applebee’s in Pennsylvania where he previously lived. Each year, Applebee’s offers free dine-in meals on Veterans Day to veterans and active duty military who show proof of military service.
“When I realized that I couldn’t walk on my own, I figured I wasn’t going to make it. I felt very disappointed for my family and me,” said Holland.
He shared his disappointment with Heather McVey, BSN, RN, clinical manager, 2 Meadow, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus McVey called Applebee’s in Mays Landing to see if she could get a meal-to-go for her patient.
Applebee’s generously made a special exception for Holland, and McVey picked up the order – the Butcher’s Meat + potatoes.
“I truly appreciate Applebee’s for helping make this happen, and the AtlantiCare staff who went above and beyond for me,” said Holland. “I thank Heather and the entire team that has been taking such wonderful care of me.”
“Veterans Day is the single most special day for us at Applebee’s. Providing a free meal for those who have fought, or are currently fighting for our freedom is the very least we can do. Being able to recognize Mr. Holland on this day when he is unable to be here with us is extra special knowing we are making his day just a little bit better,” said Brynn Flenard, general manager, Applebee’s Mays Landing.
“Heather Doughtery, car side associate, Applebee’s, was so helpful,” said McVey. “We appreciated her understanding and quick response to our special request.”
Holland, a father of five, said he’d share the experience with his children and grandchildren.
Holland had mentioned his Applebee’s tradition to McVey after members of Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 NJ visited him. The chapter visits patients at ARMC Mainland Campus every year for Veterans Day. The ARMC Mainland Auxiliary coordinates the visit.
AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger Health System, is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,400 employees and more than 700 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.