August Jingo Another Connection for Community, Soldiers Home



Our August Jingo gathering was a great success when nearly a dozen Friends volunteers joined Armed Forces Retirement Home-D.C. residents for a fun evening. Jingo is similar to bingo, though a trivia question is included to make the game a bit of an intellectual pursuit. These evenings are always special for Friends of the Soldiers Home because the very first volunteer event we did, back in Dec. 2012, was a bingo game. We have now sent volunteers to more than 40 of these types of games, held the second Thursday of each month, and early next year will mark our 50th Jingo! These volunteer events are wonderful ways to connect Home residents with the surrounding community. They go along with many more fun Friends activities, such as Happy Hour the last Tuesday of each month, and Saloon Night the first Tuesday of each month. As always with Friends of the Soldiers Home, one fun opportunity is always followed with another. The best is yet to come!

Story by John Hughes. Photos by Terra Zvara.




Lincoln’s Cottage Has Two Big Events Coming Up

President Lincoln’s Cottage, which does so much to preserve the history of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC campus, has two big events coming up. The second-annual Freedom 5K featuring running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson is Saturday, Sept. 26 at 8am. Early-bird registration at a cost of $25 ends Aug. 26. Register here.

all images copyright Max Krupka. Reproduction with permission only Do not remove watermark

all images copyright Max Krupka. Reproduction with permission only
Do not remove watermark

Then, the fourth-annual Family Day is Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10am to 3pm. This free event includes a Civil War encampment, petting zoo, arts and crafts and live music. For those who want to take a cottage tour as part of Family Day, normal prices apply. Meanwhile, planning is underway for the third Fall Fun Fest on Sunday, Oct. 4. This will be a major collaborative effort of organizations including Friends of the Soldiers Home, the Home’s staff and residents, and Lincoln’s Cottage. Mark your calendars, more details will be coming soon!

Photos courtesy of Lincoln’s Cottage.


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Happy Hour Thunder Rumbles Don’t Scare Friends Volunteers


Well – that was an interesting Happy Hour! Out on the roof of the Scott Building, we enjoyed ourselves with Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC residents. Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers served refreshments, listened to entertainment and had great conversations with the residents. We were joined by interns from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who volunteered with us in their last week in Washington. Half way into the evening the thunder began – but no rain. For safety’s sake, we moved inside and continued our enjoyable evening. Come and join us as we enjoy the cool breezes on the roof of the Scott Building for our Happy Hours this summer. Happy Hour is the last Tuesday of every month. The photos show you how much we enjoy our time with the residents!

Story and photos by Liz Cocke.






Summer in the City Means Residents, Friends Partner in Gardens


garden2Tomatoes, beans, peanuts, eggplants, corn — these items from the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC gardens are delicious and nutritious. Not every tomato is perfect, but they’re still tasty. Now in its fifth year, the gardening partnership of Home residents and volunteers from Friends of the Soldiers Home is the centerpiece for a relaxing time in a hectic city. Vegetables in more than 25 plots push through the long hot days of summer with the help of over 50 volunteers. Garden socials offer opportunities to serve beer and grilled food, and to swap tales. Residents bring their coolers filled with bubbly treats. Recent incessant rains has everything in the gardens spiraling skyward, including the weeds. Swallows nesting in Matthew’s new birdhouses flit above everyone’s heads, making tasty morsels of mosquitoes and other pesky garden critters. Michael, Enid, Casey and others carefully tend to Roger’s row of flowers. Kelly’s stewardship of the cut flower bed is rewarding us with yellows, purples, and reds. Good times are ahead too — the cool growing weather is just two months away.

Story and photos by Ken Rubotzky.

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Friends, Bloomberg Take Soldiers Home Residents to Kastles Match


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For the second year in a row, Friends of the Soldiers Home partnered with Bloomberg to take Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC residents to the Washington Kastles tennis match. Sunday’s event had the Kastles topping the Springfield Lasers 24-16. Tennis legend Martina Hingis won her singles and doubles match en route to the victory. There was a fun group of Friends and Bloomberg volunteers that mixed wonderfully with the residents for a delightful evening! Friends would like to thank Bloomberg for this very special event.

Story by John Hughes, photos by John Hughes, Phil Ford and Vicki Cerullo.





July Jingo Brings Out New Friends


We had lots of new Friends for July’s Jingo – one of them from as far away as the Netherlands! The theme for July’s Jingo was Presidents and First Ladies, which helped our youngest volunteer keep his mind sharp during the summer break. New player Mr. Ortiz felt comfortable with many Spanish-speaking volunteers in attendance. Surely all of that positive energy contributed to his big win!

A special thank you to Juwan Downing, visiting from Virginia State University, for being our photographer for the evening.

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Soldiers Home photo 16

Soldiers Home Photo 15

More photos after the break Continue reading

July Saloon Night Features Patriotic Sing-Along


July’s Saloon Night was a blast with Alan Bjerga playing guitar and singing everyone’s favorite: patriotic tunes!  Residents had a ball singing along to sheet music and standing tall for the National Anthem.  This is the third year Alan has played for the residents in July and he’s always a huge hit!  This month the weather was perfect for sitting both outside and in!

Story and photos by Mary Bucci.






Summer Breeze, Dancing Energizes Monthly Friends Happy Hour


For Happy Hour this month, it was the last day of June – but we all had the spirit of the Fourth of July! We were on the rooftop of the Scott Building with much conversation, laughter and more dancing than we had seen in awhile. With pizza, drinks and volunteers aplenty, many Soldiers Home DC residents took part. The warm – but not hot – temperatures, and cool breeze made for a lovely evening. Come and join us this summer on the last Tuesday of each month for Happy Hour, and enjoy the good fun of the residents. The lovely warm breeze beats the heat and humidity of downtown DC!

Photos and Story by Elizabeth Cocke.





Friends Festival Keeps Getting Better on the Fourth of July



Wet weather didn’t stop about 1,750 people from enjoying the fourth annual Friends of the Soldiers Home July 4 celebration! More Soldiers Home residents joined the fun than in any previous year. It was wonderful to see so many veterans and citizens mingling and having a great time! The Music Messiahs, One Man Band Resident Waymon Lucas and Resident DJ Billy White provided great musical entertainment. The NAM Knights parked their motorcycles in orderly fashion and then did a wonderful job directing parkers and pedestrians at the event. Thank you Knights!


Captain Cookie and Lemongrass continued their tradition of joining us at every single event we have held, and other new, and some returning, food trucks also served delicious treats! Thanks to our sponsor Budweiser there was also some beer to enjoy. For the first time there were also some carnival games to enjoy. People really enjoyed the vast green expanse of the driving range where kids roamed far and wide. Thanks to Friends President Mary Bucci for doing a great job in leading the organization of this event. We are also grateful to the many volunteers who gave several hours to make this event so successful. Yes it was fun, but we’re not done yet! We will see you at Fall Fun Fest on Sunday Oct. 4, which is the next big community event. Mark your calendars!

Story and photos by John Hughes.

More photos after the jump.

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4th Annual July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home


The weather forecast is calling for a beautiful day on the 4th and we are ready to deliver a party for the whole family!  Come join the Friends and the Residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home for a fireworks celebration.  We’ve got softball, beer and a great line up of food trucks this year.  As always we’ve got tons of fun for kids of all ages.  Hope to see you all on the 4th!

July 4th AFRH 2015


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