FOSH Doesn’t Let February End Without Enjoying Some Chocolate


Friends of the Soldiers Home enjoyed a great Chocolate Celebration with residents of the Soldiers Home with, of course, chocolate, but also dancing! Drinks were provided by the Nam Knights, and the chocolate treats were courtesy of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Join FOSH on the last Tuesday evening of each month as we relax and socialize with residents in one enjoyable activity or another. Next: March 27. Write volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com to be part of the fun!

Story and photos by Liz Cocke.


Love to garden and volunteer?


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The Community-Resident Garden at the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) has garden space available!

The garden provides AFRH Residents and individuals from the surrounding neighborhoods an opportunity to garden, build friendships, and have fun. The Friends of the Soldiers Home manages the garden in partnership with the AFRH.

Joining the garden entails a volunteer commitment of two hours per month and annual dues of $25 for a 200 square foot plot or $35 for 400 square feet (for experienced gardeners, subject to availability). Plots are for growing annual flowers and vegetables for household use.

Volunteer duties include helping AFRH Residents to garden and helping with events for the Residents as well as mowing, weeding, and mulching the common areas of the garden.

For more information contact Sarah Bohl at sarahtrelle(at)gmail(dot)com

Friends Works With Home, Catholic U To Collect Resident Oral Histories


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Friends of the Soldiers Home is proud to work with The Catholic University of America and Armed Forces Retirement Home staff and residents to make sure oral histories of veterans are collected. Friends Vice President Liz Cocke brought together the participants for a meeting at the Home Monday night, Feb. 5, to kick off the project.

Catholic students will be conducting and recording the oral histories of residents, and Catholic Professor Renate Chancellor will work to have the histories entered into the Library Congress collection for the Veterans History Project. At the meeting Monday evening, participants learned about the history of the home, toured residences and facilities, and began to make plans for pairing students with residents.

Pictured below are Carolyn Haug of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, far left, with Professor Chancellor at Catholic University (standing next to Carolyn), and Soldiers Home resident Frank Lawrence (far right). Others in the photo are some of Professor Chancellor’s students who will be working on the project.

Photo and story by Liz Cocke.

Cold Night Brings Warm FOSH Hearts Indoors for January Happy Hour



It was great to see the community and Soldiers Home-DC residents making connections at last night’s Happy Hour! Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers have been heading to Happy Hour for years, always the last Tuesday of each month. Pete from Nam Knights told a few jokes along with the main entertainment of the night — Home staffer Carol, who shared witticisms and stories and held contests. The incomparable resident Ray spun the tunes for all to enjoy. We would love to see you at an upcoming event! To join Happy Hour or volunteer with Friends of the Soldiers Home, write FOSH Volunteer Coordinator write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com.

Photo and words by John Hughes.

FOSH Volunteers, Veterans Meet at Bowling Lanes for Friendship



During our first bowling event of 2018, eleven volunteers – some new, and some returning from long hiatuses – had a lot of fun helping residents enjoy themselves and win prizes! The Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC bowling lanes once again proved to be a great place for residents and community volunteers to form friendships. Volunteers loved helping residents bowl, and veterans on the winning team (where 120 was the lowest score!) chose beautiful hand-knit blankets as prizes. Do you want to join Friends of the Soldiers Home for a great time on bowling night? We always gather the third Tuesday evening of the month. Write FOSH Volunteer Coordinator write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com.

Story and photos by Lori Lincoln.

First FOSH 2018 Volunteer Event Won by ‘The Bartenders’


The first FOSH event of 2018, Saloon Night at Soldiers Home DC, was a great time on Tuesday evening, Jan. 2! Defender’s Inn looked beautiful for the event. Zach Hartman, a Friends of the Soldiers Home board member, was emcee of a competitive match of team trivia. FOSH volunteers teamed with residents to try to come up with the most correct answers. Every answer was a year for the New Year-themed game. When was the Wright Brothers’ first flight? When was the first loaf of sliced bread offered for sale? What year did Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” come out? What year did President Nixon resign? And so on. Beer and pizza were courtesy of FOSH. And the winner of team trivia night was … drumroll … the team called “The Bartenders!” This team’s members actually were the bartenders for the evening’s fun, and we think they cheated by serving all the others drinks and knocking them off their game! The next Saloon Night will be Feb. 6. Join us!

Photos and story by John Hughes.

FOSH Says Happy Holidays to Soldiers Home Veterans With Flat-Screen TV



Friends of the Soldiers Home participated in its 7th consecutive holiday tree lighting on Tuesday, Dec. 5, and this one was probably the best yet. There were stellular performances by District Strings, Kirov Ballet and Georgetown Phantoms. FOSH then proudly presented the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington with a holiday gift — a brand new 50-inch LG flat screen TV with an industrial-strength cart so it can be easily moved around campus. The Home’s recreational services department had the flat screen on its wish list so that veterans can make use of it in small-group settings such as the arts studio.

FOSH Chairman John Hughes, in presenting the TV, thanked residents for the ongoing blessings they have given to everyone through their service. He also thanked FOSH Volunteer Coordinator Lori Lincoln for executing the more than 50 volunteer events FOSH does each year and FOSH Board Member Kerry Hamblin for her service throughout the year and for arranging the vocal group the Phantoms to perform at the holiday gathering.

FOSH Launches Annual Year-End Fund Appeal, Celebrates Success


Six years ago, on Nov. 10, 2011, Friends of the Soldiers Home began working to connect veterans of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC with the community.

Since that evening we organized volunteers more than 250 times — now four times each month  — for activities with residents. Three annual festivals bring 5,000 community members to campus.

Your financial support makes this possible.

Please consider a contribution by clicking “donate” on or send a check to Friends of the Soldiers Home, Post Office Box 3170, Washington, DC 20010.

Thank you


John Hughes
Chairman and Co-Founder
Friends of the Soldiers Home

Friends of the Soldiers Home is a 501 (c)(3) organization serving to strengthen the bond between the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington and the surrounding community. Through service, education and engagement, Friends of the Soldiers Home connects citizens and veterans in a relationship that recognizes the sacrifice of military service and enhances quality of life for veteran and citizen alike.

More photos of the year’s activities after the jump. Continue reading

FOSH’s November Saloon Night Has Residents Stomping and Clapping

Friends of the Soldiers Home’s monthly Saloon Night for residents on Nov. 7 was so packed there wasn’t even a place to sit for a while! The bluegrass band Fretnauts played “down home” music that had several attendees dancing. As usual, Friends also brought in beer and pizza to share, and residents and volunteers had a great time! Saloon Night next month will be replaced with the holiday tree lighting party. But Friends of the Soldiers Home will be back in January with a full slate of Saloon Nights in 2018! Put them on your calendar and join us — these events are always the first Tuesday of each month. To volunteer, write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com.

Photos courtesy of Lori Lincoln.

Second Annual Cleanup Nets 13 Bags Full of Litter at Soldiers Home


On Saturday Nov. 4, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution Freedom Hill Chapter in McLean, Virginia partnered with Friends of the Soldiers Home to pick up 13 trash bags worth of litter from the otherwise pristine grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington. This was the second year in a row FOSH partnered with another community organization to keep the historic home for veterans free of rubbish that collects along the fence line on the far southwest portion of the campus. This portion of the campus abuts a busy road and intersection with no buffer. Unfortunately, some drivers carelessly toss bottles and other trash over the fence. Friends of the Soldiers Home through these annual cleanups has been able to help stay on top of the litter problem in this area of the campus. We thank Daughters of the American Revolution Freedom Hill Chapter for supplying volunteers for this event!

Photo courtesy of Beth Boswell.