7Everyday Hero Julian Scadden helps veterans through the VA Hospital's Compassion Corps

Outstanding volunteer assists fellow veterans

DENVER -- The holiday season reminds us that giving comes in many forms.
 
There's a man at Denver's V.A. Hospital who is considered an angel. He is a 7Everyday Hero. 
 
"Julian is amazing. He keeps us clean and run all day," said Elizabeth Holman, Palliative Care Psychologist, VA Hospital. 
 
Cleaning up after those who are ill is a task that few would want. Yet after a full day as a housekeeper at the VA Hospital's Community Living Center, Julian Scadden often stays for one more job. 
 
"I think I found my calling," said Scadden. 
 
Scadden is the sole volunteer for the VA's Compassion Corps. That means he stays by veterans in what he calls their "11th hour." 
 
"He just gives his gift of his presence to the veterans," explained Holman. 
 
"All I want to do is try to make it easier for them and as pleasant as possible," said Scadden. 
 
Scadden's gift involves sitting next to a veteran's bedside.  He holds their hand, listens, and sometimes prays with a veteran who may be all alone. 
 
"I don't bring up religion at all, unless they say they're religious.  Then I say 'my higher power is giving me strength to talk to you,'" said Scadden. 
 
"One of the nurses down here once told me that when Julian comes into the room there are angels on his shoulders," said Holman. 
 
"Julian is so great because I can't be here with my dad all the time.  I live in St. Louis.  And it's just good to know that Julian will visit him every day, which he does," said Judy Finnegan, daughter of veteran. 
 
Years ago there were about 20 trained Compassion Corps volunteers like Scadden. Now there's just him, serving at a VA Hospital filled to the brim with brave military men and women. 
 
"I have pulled all-nighters.  I have put in, sometimes, twelve hours in," said Scadden. 
 
"So, after he's worked here all day then he'll get a call saying we have a veteran in his last days and hours.  So, then Julian stays here all night," said Holman. 
 
Scadden enlisted in the Army in 1967 during the Vietnam War. He says helping his brothers and sisters energizes him and has made him a better person. 
 
"I have heard other veterans say. 'It's their same mud and it's the same blood.'  He's so accepting and so kind.  He just provides this safe space as they're making that final journey," said Holman. 
 
To learn more about volunteering at the VA Hospital go to www.volunteering.va.gov
 
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.
 
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