Friends Shake Up Routine At Second Volunteer Event of 2017


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.



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



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.



Friends’ Jingo Game in December Has Holiday Spirit



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.


Soldiers Home, Friends Ring in Holidays With Special Celebration



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.





Friends of the Soldiers Home Holds Year-End Fundraising Drive



Dear Friends,

Five years ago this month, Friends of the Soldiers Home began the effort to connect Veterans of the Armed Forces Retirement Home with their neighbors in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to the support of you and so many others, we have accomplished a great deal.

We held our 200th volunteer event this month and continue regular Jingo, Happy Hour, Bowling and Saloon Night activities with residents each month

We have now hosted 12 community festivals for residents and thousands of others, including Fourth of July, Oktoberfest and Spring Fling

Some of our other recent activities include a trash pickup and the annual volunteer gardening program.

Your help makes all of this possible! Please consider making an online contribution by clicking the “donate” button on our web page,, or write a check to Friends of the Soldiers Home, Post Office Box 3170, Washington, DC 20010.

Thank you so much. We appreciate all the support we receive.


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

Mission Statement
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.

FOSH Volunteers, Residents Vote for a Great Time at Nov. 10 Jingo



thumbnail_jingo6It is always so rewarding to see the mix of people from the community who volunteer through Friends of the Soldiers Home. This month’s Jingo Night was characterized by many new volunteers and teens. There were teens Genesis, John and Khyra. There was Drew and Faerie and their kids. Faerie’s mom was visiting from Maine and she helped fold programs for the Veteran’s Day program. There was new volunteer Heather and her teen daughter Sabina. Thank you volunteers, you are the best! The men and women at the Home are the best, and you bring that to them.

Photos by Lori Lincoln.




Friends, Georgia Avenue Thrive Clean Up Soldiers Home Campus


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trash4Less than a week after celebrating its 200th volunteer event, Friends of the Soldiers Home launched into its 201st by picking up trash at the beautiful Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington campus. FOSH partnered with Georgia Avenue Thrive to pick up trash along the fence line in the southwest portion of the campus. The refuse collected in the area as motorists along busy Park Place carelessly tossed debris over the fence. By the end of the cleanup, volunteers picked up 10 trash bags worth of items. The prize for most creative trash item discovered went to the volunteer who found an old VCR. Volunteers also spent some time picking up trash in the neighborhood outside the Soldiers Home gates. Friends would like to thank Georgia Avenue Thrive for this wonderful partnership. When two great organizations get together, much great work gets done!

Photos courtesy of Matt McFarland.trash6



Georgetown Phantoms Help Friends Celebrate 200th Volunteer Event


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Georgetown Phantoms

Georgetown Phantoms

Friends of the Soldiers Home celebrated its 200th volunteer event in fine fashion with the men and women we have had the privilege to serve over the last five years — residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington. The Georgetown Phantoms vocal group provided special entertainment for the event.

The Phantoms sang without instruments and did beautiful versions of today’s hits, along with a Motown medley. A packed room of veteran residents enjoyed the festivities at this special version of FOSH’s monthly Saloon Night event. Some delicious sheet cakes put a fine point on everything. A pleasant time was had by all! We can’t wait for the next 200 events.

Photos by Lori Lincoln and John Hughes.



Friends of the Soldiers Home to Mark 200th Volunteer Event


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dccx-photo(Cadets from the Capital Guardian Youth Challenge Academy, who volunteered through Friends at the DCCX bike race, courtesy of In The Crosshairs and Bruce Buckley Photography.)

Friends of the Soldiers Home will mark its 200th volunteer event on Tuesday, Nov. 1 with a performance by the Georgetown Phantoms vocal group, along with pizza, beer and cake, at Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington. The milestone follows a busy October in which Friends held five volunteer activities, ending with participation in the Halloween Happy Hour at the Home on Oct. 25.

dccx2The month also included a Friends Hospitality Tent for Soldiers Home residents at the DCCX bike race Oct. 23, bowling night with residents Oct. 18, Jingo Night Oct. 13 and Saloon Night With Friends Oct. 4. The Nov. 1 event will come nine days before Friends celebrates the fifth anniversary of its founding. Along with the re-occurring monthly events, the 200 volunteer activities have included 12 community festivals such as July 4 and Fall Fun Fest, five bus trips for residents to off-campus events, and two special concert performances on campus. (See full list of 200 after the jump below.)

Friends is grateful to residents and AFRH-W staff for extending a warm welcome for all these events; to festival sponsors, including Anheuser-Busch, Annie’s Hardware and Crossfit Petworth; and to community partners including Nam Knights Capital Chapter, Points of Light, President Lincoln’s Cottage and Creative Minds International Public Charter School. Above all, Friends thanks the hundreds of volunteers, many who return again and again, for making this success story possible! You are all the best and none of this would have been possible without you!

hallow1Note: Photo of cadets from the Capital Guardian Youth Challenge Academy, who volunteered through Friends at the DCCX bike race, is courtesy of In The Crosshairs and Bruce Buckley Photography. All other photos of October events are by Reyn Anderson and John Hughes.


Full list of the 200 events after the jump Continue reading

Top Bike Racers Descend on Soldiers Home for Weekend of Fun


dccx-photoTop athletes in the sport of cyclo-cross will descend on the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington on Saturday and Sunday for the 10th annual DCCX. DCMTB, a grass-roots team of mountain bikers that puts on the race, are great supporters of Friends of the Soldiers Home and we are proud to be involved for the fifth consecutive year. Friends will be hosting a hospitality tent for Soldiers Home residents on Sunday afternoon, and we will be volunteering at the race by helping with parking and serving as crossing guards on Saturday and Sunday. If you want to help us out volunteering, particularly on Sunday morning, write volunteerfriendsofsoldiers (at) gamil (dot) com. Otherwise, it should be a beautiful weekend, so come on out and enjoy the free races! For more information, visit the DCMTB website,