SUNNYSIDE VETERANS’ GROUPFrom December 2012 Tips and Tales
Shared by Bob Spicer and Whit Scully
Our Veterans’ Group has grown to over 115 members. We meet quarterly and during 2013 our meetings are scheduled on 28 February, 23 May, 22 August and 28 November. Meetings are at 1400 hrs. at the Bethesda Theater. Family members and guests are welcome.
Potential programs are: Mission of the Virginia National Guard, the JMU ROTC program, Women in the military, New military equipment under development and experiences of local Afghanistan veterans. Our primary project, which has been active for several years, has been preparing and presenting an encased American flag to the family of our Veterans at their Memorial Service.
A special project has just been completed. One of our own veterans, Richard Young and his two loyal and experienced writer friends, Charles Blair and Jean Kilby, planned, interviewed and edited 40 of our veteran’s stories, which make up our new book titled: “U.S. VETERANS AT SUNNYSIDE”. The first 50 or 60 copies were sold to our veteran story writers. Another 60 copies were ordered for residents that attended November 11 Chapel for the Veterans Remembrance Day Service. Copies will be donated to our Sunnyside libraries. The anticipated $1.50 potential profit of each book will be donated to the “Wounded Warrior Project”.
And another special project: ”TOYS FOR TOTS,” was initiated and coordinated with The Salvation Army by our member Gene Drifmeyer. The purpose is to offer our residents the opportunity to provide Christmas gifts to children that may not otherwise receive gifts for Christmas.
A Christmas tree is placed near the entrance to our Chapel and is decorated by small colored cards which identify the age category of a boy or girl. Residents are encouraged to select one or more cards, purchase gifts and place them under the tree without wrappings. Salvation Army personnel will then match the type of gift with a child. Our Veterans Group is proud of our Veterans continued service to our country.
The Sunnyside Veterans’ Group still meets on campus, but the pandemic has disrupted activities of the group, as for many other organizations, says George Gibbs, who coordinates the social gathering. All veterans on campus are welcome to meet for lunch in the Marketplace on the second Tuesday of each month. Gibbs says about 20 veterans from all branches of the service have been meeting for lunch. Some members of the group also assisted in making cradles as part of a Christmas activity with the campus woodworkers group. Gibbs has a copy of the book mentioned in the story and individual stories from the book are also available on Sunnyside Times under “Cool Stories” and then “Veterans.” But the original book is out of print.