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‘More than patients:’ Nurses living out their ‘call of duty’ at veterans care center

RICHMOND, Va. -- When some of the most vulnerable Virginians need a loving hand two angels in white always answer the call.

Nurses Cheryl Trotter and Marcheta Foster are fixtures at Sitter and Barfoot Veterans Care Center. The long-term nursing facility was built for those who have sacrificed so much.

“Absolutely, because they are the reason we are here right now,” said Marcheta. “They are the reason we can be here and have this conversation.”

Nurses Marcheta and Cheryl care for the forty aging veterans in the dementia ward, servicemen and women who have fought in the four corners of the world in wars from another time.

Nurses Marcheta Foster and Cheryl Trotter

“They have made their sacrifices and they deserve to live their days with dignity and respect," explained Marcheta.

The state-run Sitter Barfoot at McGuire VA opened a decade ago. Marcheta knew the very first veterans who walked through the door.

“We all are together with one goal and that’s to care for these residents and veterans to keep the happy, keep them secure and keep them safe," said Marcheta.

Cheryl and Marcheta say sometimes listening or a simple smile is the best medicine.

“Just to be able to care for them, to touch them, to talk to them, offer them some hope. Yeah. It’s a great honor," said Cheryl.

Family members of the aging veterans could not be more grateful. Lois Ascari says her husband whose nickname is "Papa" is well cared for.

“It is not like a regular nursing home. It is great. It really is," said Lois. “Oh, it is wonderful. We can go home and sleep peacefully since he is here.”

For the nurses the veterans at the care center are so much more than patients.

“To do this job it already has to be here in your heart. It is more than a paycheck," said Cheryl.

Marcheta Foster

Watching Marcheta and Cheryl and all of the nurses and aides at Sitter & Barfoot, it is clear working with the men who have given so much, is their own call of duty.

“They deserve to be treated with dignity till God takes them off this earth," added Marcheta.

Watch CBS 6 News at 6 p.m. Thursdays for Greg McQuade's "Heroes Among Us" reports. If you know of someone CBS 6 should feature, email heroes@wtvr.com.

Watch CBS 6 News at 6 p.m. Thursdays for Greg McQuade's "Heroes Among Us" reports. If you know of someone CBS 6 should should feature, email heroes@wtvr.com