Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served a total of 26 years in the Army. My service was combined Active and Reserve. I was First Sgt. when I completed the SMA in 2005. On 21 December 2011, my 60th birthday, I bid farewell to the military I loved so much, due to having reached my MRD. I served in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. My MOS at that time was Transportation and our job (920th Trans. Co.) was suppling the 7th Corps. with fuel.
How are you #StillServing?
With the death of my husband Harold, a WWII Navy Veteran (Tin Can Sailor), I struggled to fit in somewhere. I lost my military family due to MRD in 2011, and in 2014 I lost my Postal family (I was a letter carrier for 22 years) to tend to Harold at home on hospice. He passed 13 Feb. 2017, my mother on 1 May 2019, then my sister passed on Christmas Eve 2019. I started to volunteer at Center for Community Renewal (CCR) in Keansburg, NJ. CCR is a pantry that accepts donations of food and clean, serviceable clothing which is distributed to the lesser fortunate of the immediate area. We sponsor a small pantry on Tuesdays and a large outdoor pantry/farmers market type service on Saturday mornings. Volunteers prepare good hot lunches and volunteers distribute the lunches daily to include Sundays and holiday. CCR is staffed by volunteers and in conjunction with St. Marks parish. As chaplain of Post 4303 I wanted to do something for veterans and took my desire to CCR where I was granted permission to take surplus food to the three Veterans Homes in NJ. I took a load to Vineland, Menlo Park, and just recently visited Paramus with a large donation. I hope to continue this labor of love with my own research for collecting donations of not only food, but jackets and other necessities. CCR supplied me with a box of BomBa Socks which was very much appreciated.
Why do you do it?
I believe in veterans and my personal desire is to make life a little easier and more comfortable for those who so selflessly gave of their time and often have been left with unwanted souvenirs both physical and mental. I am anxiously awaiting the time I will be allowed to visit with the residents of these three homes. I did volunteer visitation during my high school years. Vets love to tell their stories and I have all the time in the world to listen. Covid put a temporary end to visits by other than family members.