SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Friday Sanford Health is recognizing its patients who served our country.

A blanket may seem like a small gift, but for the veterans at Sanford Health, it is a huge blessing.

“It brightened my day. A lot of times we sit here all alone and the staff tries their best to spend as much time with us as they can but we still spend a lot of time alone here in the hospital,” veteran Jeffrey Jones said. “To have any little thing, it seems not so important to some people, it brightens other people’s day.”

Every year, Sanford Health volunteers hand-knit these blanket shawls. They are then hand delivered to patients.

“It’s just a small way that we can honor the veterans who are in our care. So being able to be a small part of delivering that thank you and a little happiness to them while they’re in the hospital just means a lot,” Becca Conner, manager of volunteer services at Sanford Health, said.

Jones served with the Army National Guard for 21 years. This Veterans Day, he’s thinking of the men and women he served with.

“They truly were an important role in my life and you don’t know what an impact they have on you until you retire or you leave that part of your life behind. You have the memories but you just don’t get to actively participate anymore. It’s hard. Harder than you would ever believe,” Jones said.

He says it was an honor to serve his country and now he shares this message:

“Whatever you do in this life, serve it with a full purpose. And accept the things you can’t change. If you can learn to accept the things you can’t change, than that’s where you belong,” Jones said.

The blankets were hand delivered by the Sanford Veteran’s Committee as well as Sanford employees who are also veterans.