The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces that John Deere has shipped 134,600 face shields to 49 VA medical centers in 27 states at no cost in response to the COVID-19 pandemicVA’s Voluntary Service and John Deere worked to identify VA facilities in need of additional personal protective equipment.

“The department recognizes and appreciates when organizations take it upon themselves to help VA and communities, and these face shields are extremely useful,” says VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Having additional personal protective equipment on hand ensures we can supplement our efforts to protect veterans and VA healthcare providers in the face of this pandemic.”

John Deere’s donation of face shields to VA, known as “Operation: Hero Support” was developed out of the company’s commitment to help communities in need. While John Deere does not typically manufacture face shields, the agricultural utility manufacturing company was able to produce them using an open-source design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Operation: Hero Support far exceeded our hopes and so far, we have provided nearly 135,000 face shields to VA to contribute to helping protect our Veteran heroes,” says Kevin Blount, senior quality engineer at John Deere and chair of John Deere’s Military Employee Resource Group. “Since early April, we have manufactured more than 400,000 face shields and distributed them to healthcare providers, caregivers, and emergency personnel across the U.S.”

Individuals or organizations interested in donating to support the care and service of Veterans may reach out to VA Voluntary Service.