Friends Use Bowling As New Way To Connect Community, Veterans

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bowling3We weren’t planning to add bowling as a fourth regular monthly volunteer event for Friends of the Soldiers Home. But after a trial late last year, we found volunteers loved bowling as another way to connect with the men and women who served our country. So off we go! On the third Tuesday evening of each month, we assist veterans who need help getting to the lanes on campus, and we aid those who need assistance in playing the games. As pictures from last month show, everyone has a great time! Bowling now joins Jingo, Happy Hour and Saloon Night on the Friends’ monthly roster of activities. Special thanks go to FOSH’s Volunteer Coordinator, Lori Lincoln, and Carol Mitchell at the Armed Forces Retirement Home for making this bowling event happen. If you want to participate this coming Tuesday, Feb. 16, write Lori at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers (at) @gmail (dot) com.

Story by John Hughes, photos by Melissa Sullivan.

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No Shadows, Just Fun, at Friends’ Saloon Night on Groundhog Day

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Saloon1Geneva Renee is always a hit when she performs on behalf of Friends of the Soldiers Home at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-D.C. This was particularly true Tuesday night, when a big crowd of Home residents at Defenders Inn on campus and several Friends volunteers enjoyed Renee’s singing. The event was extra special because Geneva was joined by a guest vocalist, B. Jackson Caesar. Some residents danced while others sang or hummed along to the tunes they knew quite well. Friends purchased drinks and pizza to complete the fun-time atmosphere. Thank you volunteers and donors for making the monthly Saloon Nights possible! The next Saloon Night is March 1. Write volunteerfriendsofsoldiers@gmail.com to be part of it!

Story and photos by John Hughes.

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Friends Dig Out AFRH Residents’ Cars After Snowstorm

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shovel3A Friends of the Soldiers Home shovel brigade descended on the Armed Forces Retirement Home-D.C. campus Jan. 28 to dig out residents’ parked cars snarled by snow drifts. Friends brought shovels and strong backs after AFRH issued a call for help the previous day. But, there were many cars, so the Friends tired fast! Luckily there was a lunch break that seemed to lighten the work load. Several residents expressed personal appreciation that they will once again be able to access and drive their cars. But it was the Friends who were grateful. They were able to express, with shovels, a profound thank you to service men and women who sacrificed for many years for all Americans.

Story by John Hughes, photos by Isabelle Hughes.

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FOSH Calls on Volunteers to Help Soldiers’ Home D.C. Residents Dig Out From the Snow

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snowstreetOur friends at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-D.C. need our help in recovering from the snow! Residents’ vehicles are hemmed in their parking lot area. Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 27, and on Thursday, January 28 (also Friday, January 29 if needed), the Home is looking for volunteers to help shovel out the cars. Any length of time volunteers are able to give between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m is greatly appreciated. There is free coffee and lunch for all volunteers, so bring your friends, bring your shovel and bring your appetite! And please tell ’em you are proud to offer assistance as their neighbor from Friends of the Soldiers Home!

Location: Report to Scott Building Front Security Desk

Directions: Enter at the intersection of Rock Creek Church Road and Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC. Use GPS Address: 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW, Washington, DC 20011. You must present a picture ID at the gate.

Parking: There is plenty of cleared space in Parking LOT 3 and limited space in LOT 5.

For additional information, contact Carolyn Haug at carolyn.haug (at) afrh (dot) gov or 202-541-7627 (after Tuesday).

(Photo of cars buried in snow not far from the Home gate is courtesy of Kent Boese at http://parkviewdc.com/)

Friends Get Off the Divan, Volunteer for Jingo

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Jingo1Friends of the Soldiers home held the first Jingo of 2016 on Jan. 14! Residents and volunteers enjoyed catching up after the holidays with several spirited rounds of play. The theme this month was household items. A few of the clues stumped the volunteers and gave residents the opportunity to educate them on some of the more formal language used to describe furnishings. For example, the volunteers learned that a divan is a type of couch. Who knew? Join us the second Thursday evening of each month for Jingo. Write volunteerfriendsofsoldiers (at) gmail (dot) com to join us!

Story and photos by Terra Zvara.

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Friends Happy Hour Brings Talk About Harleys and Other Subjects

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happy3We had a wonderful time at our monthly Happy Hour with veterans of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC. Sure, we had the music and the quizzes and the jokes, but as you can see from the photos, we also had plenty of time for pleasant conversation. One volunteer who rides a Harley found himself talking to a WWII veteran who had also been a Harley rider! Another resident was fascinated to hear about the military service of a much younger veteran. And one volunteer brought his mother to assist, as she was in town. Everyone was delighted to serve drinks and pizza in between those visiting sessions. Come and join us for our next Happy Hour, Jan. 26! Write volunteerfriendsofsoldiers (at) gmail.com.

Story and photos by Liz Cocke.

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Veterans Day Was Special at Old Soldiers Home

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vetday2It was a beautiful Veterans Day at the Soldiers Home in D.C. Residents and guests gathered at the flagpole to honor the service of those who live at the retirement home as well as all other veterans, deceased and alive. The service was moving, as new soldiers greeted veterans and veterans proudly wore on their chest the recognition they had received during their service. Retired soldiers, sailors and airmen — both men and women — stood from their wheelchairs for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. The Nam Nights and others joined residents for a final photograph after the ceremony ended. Yes, indeed, it was a beautiful day.

Story and photos by Liz Cocke.

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