United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD News

Bookmark and Share

 News Article

Volunteers Show Appreciation for Retirement Home Residents

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2001 – Nearly 170 volunteer soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and family members recently spent a morning showing their appreciation to residents here at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Air Force Lt. Col. Dana Born and six-month-old daughter, Heather, make a thank- you card during a volunteer day at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington. "It's a family affair," Born said of the event at the home Nov. 17, 2001. "Our three-year-old, her cousin, my brother- in-law, my husband and baby decided to come out and bring a little joy to the veterans who risked their lives to help protect the freedoms of America." Photo by Rudi Williams.
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The adults raked leaves, trimmed trees, assembled bed frames and mattresses and called bingo while children made thank-you cards and a large banner for the aging veterans. The banner read, "A Salute to Our Veterans."

It's called the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, but more than 1,000 men and women veterans of all services, including the Coast Guard, live there. It's nestled in the heart of the nation's capital on 32 secure acres in a park-like setting. With an average age of 76, the veterans come from every state, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

"I grew to love and appreciate the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home and the residents. When the Joint National Family Volunteer Project was announced, it was a must do for me," said Air Force Lt. Col. Dana Born. Her six-month- old daughter, Heather, was in a baby carrier strapped around her neck. "It's a family affair. Our three-year-old, her cousin, my brother-in-law, my husband and baby decided to come out and bring a little joy to the veterans who risked their lives to help protect the freedoms of America."

Born is a member of the Mission Support Squadron Command at nearby Bolling Air Force Base.

Stacey Bernabela, 20, a dental technician at Bolling's 11th Dental Clinic said she volunteered to help veterans at the home "because they've dedicated their lives to getting us to where we are today."

To Tracey Brooks, volunteering at the home was a lesson for her daughters, Mariah, 9, and Myra, 6.

"We decided to come out because we wanted to share our love with someone else and to teach my children that it's better to give than to receive," Brooks said. "We just wanted to give a big hug and thanks to all of those that have served in our armed forces. Our hearts goes out to them today."

Brooks' husband is Air Force Staff Sgt. Otis H. Brooks III who works for the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

Noting that the Boy Scouts celebrate hometown heroes during November, Scout leader Brian Nickols said he and four Cub Scouts came out to support the veterans and show their appreciation to them. The Cubs, from Den 2 in Pack 987 of Vienna, Va., helped make more than 230 thank-you cards and a large banner.

Marie Cavalcante, 12, said she wanted "to compliment the veterans for the good job they've done for our country." The daughter of Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert Cavalcante, she attends Mattawoman Middle School, Waldorf, Md.

Her sister Jamie, 14, of Westlake High School in Waldorf, said she was "just helping out and fitting in wherever I can in making a difference -- letting them know that they're really special to us."

"This is the Navy family month so we wanted to do an activity that involved our families," adult volunteer Kevin Macey said. "We also wanted to give a little back to the men and women that have defended the nation."

Visit the DoD "Home for Heroes" web site at www.defenselink.mil/specials/heroes/.

 

Contact Author


Click photo for screen-resolution image"Thank you! Thank you! Know that we are thinking about you & keeping you in our hearts" was one of the messages volunteers wrote on a huge card at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageStacey Dunn-Turner (center left) said several people wrote messages on a huge greeting card at the Solders' and Airmen's Home to troops being deployed to Afghanistan. Dunn-Turner, of Washington's Points of Life Foundation's Family Matters Program, said the greeting card maker Hallmark donated the card to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and in turn given to the foundation. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageThe Navy Sea Chanters entertain residents of the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington as part of showing appreciation for the aging veterans' contributions to the defense of the nation. From left to right are Chief Petty Officer W. Reid Williams, Petty Officer 1st class Alison A. Turk, Petty Officer Susan V. Appel and Petty Officer 1st class E. Daryl Duff. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageChildren create a large banner entitled "A Salute to Our Vets" for the residents of the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington. The youngsters all took part in a volunteer day at the home Nov. 17, 2001. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarie Cavalcante, 12, Jamie Cavalcante, 14, and Kevin Macey work on a large banner at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington. The three participated in a volunteer day at the home Nov. 17, 2001. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageMariah Brooks, 9, signs a greeting card for residents at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington. The youngster participated in a volunteer day at the home Nov. 17, 2001. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imageCarol LaVoy chats with volunteers about making greeting cards for residents at the Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution


Click photo for screen-resolution imagePack 987 Cub Scout Erik Nickols (center) of Vienna, Va., passes a handmade greeting card to his father, Scoutmaster Brian Nickols. The two and several other pack members participated in a volunteer day at the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home in Washington on Nov. 17, 2001. Photo by Rudi Williams.  
Download screen-resolution   
Download high-resolution



Additional Links

Stay Connected