Three days a week for the last eight years and 5,000 hours, Army Veteran Joe Dealey has assisted with record keeping and donation tracking for a 500-person strong North Texas VA volunteer program. The 75-year-old retired Army lieutenant colonel has made volunteerism his primary focus in retirement instead of hitting the links for 18 holes.
His prolific volunteerism, in addition to his time serving North Texas VA, has led to Dealey making multiple trips to Southwest Asia to assist in setting up mobile eye care clinics.
“Volunteering gives me something to do that keeps me active yet allows me to give back to the community,” Dealey said.
Contributions noticed beyond VA
He has served as a member of the Priory in the United States of America of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. For this, Dealey was promoted to the grade of Knight of Grace by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017. He was awarded the Service Medal of the Order of St. John for serving the sick and poor by the Queen in 2022.
Sir Joe Dealey is one of only 41 Americans to have ever received this award from the royal monarch in its 125-year history.
“It’s through the sincere commitment of volunteers like Mr. Dealey that we can provide comfort, relief and support to so many of our North Texas Veterans,” said Bobbie K. Scoggins, service chief for the Center for Development and Civic Engagement at VA North Texas. “And for our volunteers to be recognized by heads of state like Her Majesty the Queen is heartwarming and humbling.”
Members volunteer around the world
The Order encompasses two charity arms: St John Ambulance, a leading global first aid and health care service whose international volunteers number over 250,000 in 30 countries, and the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group. Members of the Order volunteer at hospitals, clinics, and other sources of care in several regions of the world, providing health care to those who would otherwise go without.
Sir Dealey was inducted into the membership of the public charity organization in 2005 after hearing of their mission and charity from his brother-in-law.
Where people are mindful of the men and women they serve
“I decided to apply to the Priory after I learned of the Order’s good works in many needed areas of this world,” he said. “I knew then that I wanted to be a part of this.”
As a Dallas VA volunteer, Dealey’s efforts in fostering good will, empathy and service among the thousands of patients, families and employees he encounters weekly turn visits into memories.
“As a Veteran, I really enjoy coming here to volunteer,” he said. “This is an environment where people are genuinely mindful of the men and women they serve.”