Honoring older women veterans
A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to do something to honor older women veterans. Right now, I am doing this as an American Legion Deputy Commander for the 15th District, in Pennsylvania. You don't have to belong to any formal organization to do this kind of thing, however. You just need to find some older women veterans and organize a party.
Pennsylvania has six large veterans centers where veterans and their spouses can live and get medical care.
Gino Merli Veterans Center in Scranton, Pa is about 55 miles from where I live. (Gino Merli was a Medal of Honor soldier from this area.) My local Post appointed me laison to GMVC. That usually ment transporting donations like lap robes and books, and presenting money to them twice a year for their activities fund.
I decided I wanted to do something more - particularly for the women veterans who are resident there.
Three years ago I sponsored the first Woman Veterans and Friends Afternoon Tea. The residents really enjoyed it.
There are usually only a few women veterans, but a lot of other residents show up.
I work with the activities director to obtain food (many of them are on special diets). I bring some special additions like two-bite brownies and cookies or mini danish. I also bring a selection of boxes of specialty
I am scheduled for a one hour block of "activity hour" time.
Once everyone arrives, we have a formal welcome. Next I announce the name and Branch of each resident woman veteran. With each announcement, I move to where the veteran is sittingsitting and present her with a long stemmed rose - as a memento to take back to her room. I salute her and say "Thank you for your service!"
after everyone is remembered and thanked, we break for tea and goodies.
Once everyone is back in place with food and drinks, I spend the remaining time talking about things of interest to veterans. For example, one tea I talked about Saving your military memories, including where to get information, and some things to do with it once you have written your story.
Everyone has a good time, and the women veterans are recognized and honored in front of their peers.
This March I will sponsor my 7th Tea. I do it twice a year - in March for Women s History month and in September for Patriots Day. (September is 6 months out and otherwise pretty quiet!)
Two of my Air Force ladies are 100 and 95 years old respectively. How often do you think they were thanked for their service before me?
Now that you know about it, I'll ask the big question.
Have you considered doing something to honor older women veterans?
Thanks for listening. I'll be back soon with some other projects I've done or started to honor women veterans.