Where did you serve and what did you do?
USAF Air Traffic Control Mar 66 to Nov 87
How are you #StillServing?
River Park adult/senior living facility in Little River, SC, has an “Assisted Living” building for those in need of such a facility. There are 13 military veterans living in this particular facility. Most were going to go through Christmas not having a Christmas because of their situation or not having any visiting family.
I worked with the director of the facility, told her what I had planned and she provided me with their names and former branch of military service. I secured donations from North Myrtle Beach Post 10804 (my post) and the Auxiliary. I also secured a donation from my VFW District (7), a couple of member personal donations and my wife and I personally contributed to the project.
At a Christmas Party to be hosted by River Park on December 21st, (PLAN A) each veteran was to receive a 50X60 blanket with their branch of service (see picture), a branch of service hat, cotton socks, a calendar, a hygiene kit consisting of toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and a disposable razor. Each veteran received a personalized Christmas Card from the SC VFW. Attending the party would have been members of River Park staff, our Post & Auxiliary, District 7, the State Jr Vice Commander, and possibly the Mayor of North Myrtle Beach.
A couple of days before the 21st, I received a call from River Park saying the Christmas Party was cancelled due to rampant COVID among residents and staff. Their estimate of the earliest we could honor the veterans was late January (PLAN B).
Not wanting to wait that long. I coordinated with River Park management and arranged that on Saturday December 30st, I would drop-off, at the front door, all of the gift bags. Then on New Years Eve the staff would deliver all the packages to the veterans (PLAN C). River Park said they would provide me with some pictures.
River Park, wanting to show their appreciation for what we did, said that as soon as the COVID problem was cleared-up. They would have a party for us and the veterans. Right now aiming for late January (PLAN D).
Bill La Monte
P.S. Two years ago, during COVID, I provided the same type Christmas for 11 residents of River Park and 3 from another assisted living facility.
The picture is of Javona Stanley, Marketing Director River Park Adult Living, accepting the 13 veteran gift bags
Why do you do it?
Because I can help less fortunate fellow veterans