March Saloon Night Tempo Matched the Outside Weather — Cool

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It wasn’t just ‘cool’ outside for this month’s version of Saloon Night at Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC. The incredible singer Elin, accompanied by Leo Garcia on piano, showcased cool tunes for the packed crowd. Both residents and volunteers soaked in the multi-lingual music, stories and drink. Friends of the Soldiers Home is proud to put on this monthly event, and FOSH volunteers always have a great time. Join us next month! The next Saloon Night will be April 4. Write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers (at) gmail (dot) com to be part of the fun.

Story and photos by Lou Avenilla


FOSH, Nam Knights Partner to Make February Happy Hour Special

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happy2The monthly Happy Hour was extra special on Feb. 28. Friends of the Soldiers Home was honored to participate in a special presentation by the Nam Knights Capital Chapter. The Knights presented an iron works display to the Armed Forces Retirement Home that has become a permanent decoration in the Defender’s Inn on campus. Friends of the Soldiers Home, Nam Knights and AFRH staff have been long-time collaborators on the monthly Happy Hour event, which features food, drink, trivia, joke telling and plenty of volunteers who socialize and mix in with the residents. FOSH is grateful to the Nam Knights for making us part of the special presentation!

Photos by Ellen Hughes.

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Will You Be My Valentine? Friends Volunteers Say, ‘Yes!’

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happy4Friends of the Soldiers Home was proud to send 10 volunteers to help with the very special Chocolate Lovers’ Social at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC on Valentine’s Day evening. The enormous warmth and great fun in the room that evening can’t be overstated. The Home staff put together a wonderful party for residents, and we were honored to be part of such a special evening on Valentine’s Day!

Photos by Lauri Hafvenstein.

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FOSH’s February Saloon Night Brings Laughter, Singing and Dancing

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saloon1February’s Friends of the Soldiers Home Saloon Night was not just about serving beer and pizza, but it was also great fun and had an impressive showcase of talent! Crowd favorite Geneva Renee sang a variety of tunes that got folks singing as well as dancing. “Midnight Train To Georgia” really brought folks out to the dance floor! Friends provided gift bags with notes written by children thanking residents of the Soldiers Home for their service. Friends also handed out Travis Manion Foundation t-shirts. The items came to FOSH courtesy of Points of Light. There were volunteers a-plenty — 18 in all! — and resident bar tender Sheldon ensured that the drinks kept flowing. Looking forward to see you next month! FOSH’s Saloon Night is always the first Tuesday of the month. Write volunteerfriendsofsoldiers (at) gmail (dot) com to participate.

Story and photos by Lou Avenilla.

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First Happy Hour of 2017 Has FOSH, Residents Celebrating Together

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happy2Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly at Happy Hour this week. There was more conversation with residents, volunteers for Friends of the Soldiers Home, and telling of jokes. The better jokes came from the residents – not from the traditional emcee! It was wonderful to see so much conversation and enjoyment. Thank you to the FOSH volunteers who came out and to our good friends, the Nam Knights Capital Chapter. Come and join us at next month’s Happy Hour – the days will be getting longer and the laughter louder!

Photos and story by Liz Cocke.

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Residents Bowl But Volunteers Get The Luck

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Would your group like to adopt a FOSH volunteer event? On the evening of Jan. 17, about a dozen Washington-area alumni from Florida International University took over the monthly bowling night we staff — and did they ever have fun! The group helped Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC residents who use wheelchairs get to the bowling lanes on campus. Then they assisted residents in getting into the lane and lining up a ramp in front of them. One push later — strike! (Or at least some of the time). Bowling happens the second Tuesday evening of each month. For details, write FOSH Volunteer Coordinator Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com. Friends of the Soldiers Home wants to extend sincere thanks to these great FIU alumni for helping out on bowling night. You all are the best!

Photo courtesy of FIU alumni.

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Friends Shake Up Routine At Second Volunteer Event of 2017

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jingo2There was a feeling of nostalgia as Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers gathered for their second event of 2017. That is because the first activity we ever volunteered at as an organization, way back in December 2011, was a Big Bucks Bingo event at the Soldiers Home. After that, we switched over to Jingo, not bingo, as one of the more-than-50 annual events at which we volunteer at the home. But here it was Jan. 12, 2017, and for the first time for us since that day in 2011, the game was Big Bucks Bingo! And we had a Blast at the event, which attracted a large crowd of residents and many winners. We will be back to Jingo next month at our regular second Thursday for that event, but this one-time diversion over to bingo was a great way to freshen up the routine.

Photos and story by John Hughes.

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Friends Ring Some Final Volunteer Joy From 2016 Ahead of New Year

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12-27-2016a-2Happy New Year! Before celebrating 2017, we gathered for our final volunteer event in 2016 — Happy Hour, which was held between Christmas and New Years Day. Friends of the Soldiers Home gathered with Nam Knights’ Washington Chapter and the Kindness Corps for a wonderful time of sharing drinks, jokes and conversation with friends we’ve all made at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington. The residents were glad to see the friends and volunteers who assisted, and we were glad to see them. A high point came when all the volunteers formed a choir and sang “God Bless America” to the residents. Thanks to AFRH Carol Mitchell, there were plenty of jokes being told and laughs being shared. Now, we’re all looking forward to the New Year! We plan to have more than 50 volunteer events, and we kick off with Saloon Night on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldier(at)gmail(dot)com to learn how you can participate in some of our activities!

Photos and story by Liz Cocke.

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Friends’ Jingo Game in December Has Holiday Spirit

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jingo1The December Jingo game was really special for Friends of the Soldiers Home. We had a great turnout! Fifteen volunteers gathered to assist residents in getting to the game, which is a combination of bingo and trivia, and then helped veterans play it. There was a holiday spirit in the air! The smiles of five Peace Corps volunteers who joined us at the event attest to the fun that was had. Jingo is always the second Thursday evening of the month, and we can’t wait for January!

Photos by Lori Lincoln.

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Soldiers Home, Friends Ring in Holidays With Special Celebration

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holiday6The holidays are upon us, as evidenced by the lighting of the 16-foot Christmas tree at a gala celebration at Soldiers Home-DC the evening of Tuesday, Dec. 6. Santa was there, as were cadets from Magruder High School in Rockville, Md. Friends of the Soldiers Home, in honor of its 5th anniversary, presented the Home with a special holiday gift — a neon sign that will become a permanent fixture in the Defender’s Inn saloon on campus. The sign says in part, “AFRH-W, FOSH slautes you,” as a sign of permanent gratitude from Friends of the Soldiers Home to residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington.

The event also featured entertainment from the 42nd Street Singers, Creative Minds Band and the Jazzy Blu Band. FOSH invited several residents from the community to join the fun, and many came, including several excited children. Of course there was the tree lighting itself, at which Chaplain John Goodloe led all in the singing of `O Christmas Tree.’

Photos by John Hughes, Jonah Goodman and Matthew Roberts.

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