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U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie visits the Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home in Palmer

During a recent visit to Alaska, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie took time to tour the Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home in Palmer. DHSS Deputy Commissioner Albert Wall and Alaska Veterans & Pioneers Home Administrator Joshua Shaver hosted Secretary Wilkie along with Dr. Timothy Ballard, director of the Alaska VA health care system, as they visited with elders at the home. The secretary also presented Hallie Dixon, a resident and veteran who served during World War II in the U.S. Navy as a cryptologist, with a challenge coin. Challenge coins are a long military tradition that are used to honor a person’s service, build morale or to mark an occasion. Hallie was delighted with the visit and Secretary Wilkie was very attentive as he honored his “fellow navy” service member.

Resident Hallie Dixon shows her challenge coin.Secretary Robert Wilkie presents coin to Ms. Dixon. DHSS Deputy Commissioner Albert Wall with Secretary Wilkie.Albert Wall with Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home Director Joshua Shaver.   
Alaska VA Director Dr. Timothy Ballard greets Ms. DixonDirector Shaver and Secretary Wilkie

Top row: Resident Hallie Dixon shows her challenge coin; Secretary Robert Wilkie presents coin to Ms. Dixon. Middle row: DHSS Deputy Commissioner Albert Wall with Secretary Wilkie; Albert Wall with Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home Administrator Joshua Shaver. Bottom row: Alaska VA Director Dr. Timothy Ballard greets Ms. Dixon; Mr. Shaver and Secretary Wilkie.