Nine years ago this month we did our first volunteer event at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington. Although the Covid-19 pandemic and closed access of the Home campus limited us in 2020, we were able to send supplies, virtual well wishes and holiday gifts.
As we enter our 10th anniversary year, we are hopeful to return in 2021 to our past in-person volunteering, community festivals such as July 4 and Fall Fun Fest, and pilot access walking and biking.
Your financial support makes this possible.
Click “donate” on friendsofsoldiers.org or send a check to Friends of the Soldiers Home, P.O. Box 3170, Washington, D.C., 20010.
If you are a federal worker, retiree or member of the military, please select #56535 to donate through the Combined Federal Campaign.
Thank you so much for your support and have a wonderful New Year.
(Friends of the Soldiers Home closed out 2020 by delivering holiday gifts of wine and decorations to the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington. Pictured are John and Ellen Hughes of FOSH with Home staffer Carol Mitchell, center.)
Eight years ago this month was a historic time for our community. People inside and outside the Armed Forces Retirement Home had reached out to one another in 2011 in the spirt of friendship. By June of 2012, the Home and its neighbors were preparing to open the gates for a July 4 festival. That first big day was a huge success, and a tradition was born. Now, after a great eight-year run, we are sad to say there will be no July 4 gathering this year. The health risks of such a large event during the coronavirus pandemic are too great. We look forward to when the community and Home will gather again to celebrate as one community. This is the spirit that led to the creation of Friends of the Soldiers Home. Even a pandemic can’t dampen that.
Chariman and Co-Founder
Friends of the Soldiers Home
The 1,200 people who braved rainy weather for a spirited July 4 celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington weren’t sorry. They enjoyed a great view of the fireworks, a fantastic performance by the Hoke County, N.C. marching band, a fine showing by the Home’s resident DJ Billy White. There were also plenty of games, food and drinks. Friends of the Soldiers Home would like to thank everyone who participated in the great day!
Photos courtesy of Liz Cocke and John Hughes.
Location: Enter Armed Forces Retirement Home at Randolph Road and Rock Creek Church Road in Washington, D.C. For navigation, use 340 Rock Creek Church Road N.W., Washington, D.C.
4pm: DJ Billy White aka The Music Man
7:45pm: Hoke County, N.C. High School Band
9:07pm: National Mall Fireworks (New location, not sure about the view!)
4-8:30pm: bounce house, obstacle course, swashbuckler, jumbo connect 4
4-7pm: catch-and-release pond fishing (bring your own bait, gear)
4-8:30pm: Asian Community Service Center Craft Table
6pm: patriotic bike decoration contest judging
7pm: Kids get flags free to wave in a parade behind marching band!
Food/Drink: Timer Pizza, Hardy’s BBQ, The Big Cheese, Ooo Dat Chicken, Captain Cookie, Anheuser Busch
Weather: 87 degrees, chance of scattered storms
Cost: Free if you walk or bike in. Friends of the Soldiers Home requests a $10 donation per carload for drivers
Volunteer: To volunteer for part of the event: https://signup.com/go/YExnGce
Pets: Sorry, you must leave pets at home
A Very Special Thanks to the staff and residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home for making this event possible, and to the Capital Chapter of the Nam Knights of America for volunteer support
For the fourth January in a row, Friends of the Soldiers Home kicked off its volunteer year with an event called “Trivia Night With Zach Hartman.” As usual residents and volunteers divided into teams and competitively tried to answer questions correctly from FOSH volunteer and board member Zach. The action on this Jan. 3 night ended in a tie between one team called Old Geezers and another one called The Rebels. The tie-breaker question? Which year did the White House burn. Geezers correctly answered and won the game! If you know the answer, then consider yourself a trivia master — and someone who might want to join us for a future Soldiers Home “Trivia Night.”
Friends of the Soldiers Home volunteers were on hand to escort Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC residents outside onto the third floor terrace at the Scott Building so that the veterans could view a beautiful Winter Wonderland light display. The scheduled entertainment couldn’t come, but luckily FOSH had some adorable munchkins on board to fill the need! Cub Scout Den #1946 (four 2nd graders who attend the National Presbyterian School) arrived with siblings, parents and their Den Leader in tow – 13 deep! We also had three students from Washington Latin PCS and some of our more regular stalwart volunteers. Their manners and smiles immediately commanded attention, and were all the reason that anyone needed to be filled with hope and holiday cheer! During Winter Wonderland, residents and volunteers took a quick stroll around the 3rd floor terrace, viewing the whimsical lighted holiday decorations and the cityscape below. Back inside, everyone enjoyed singing, socializing, snacks and drinks.
FOSH’s 2018 volunteer year ended Dec. 18 with Bowling. We hope to spend many more hours with you next year bringing together our veterans at the Armed Forces Retirement Home with the surrounding community. That will begin with Saloon Night on Wednesday, Jan. 2nd from 6-8 pm. If you want to come, drop a line to Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com.
Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC residents attended the Wreaths Across America event at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just across the street from the Home. Friends of the Soldiers Home Vice President Liz Cocke worked to ensure the AFRH public affairs staff were in touch with the WAA volunteer coordinator to organize the event. Liz also attended and joined the residents who were on hand to remember those who served. Join her – and all the volunteers – on Saturday, Jan. 19, starting at 9 a.m. to help clean up the wreaths!