On Wednesday January 26th, we held our Muster and Mingle event, a ‘souper’ supper. The weather did not want to cooperate, but we were pleased to see that we had several veterans and their families willing to brave the frigid temperatures. We held our January event at the West Milton Community Center, and we are very grateful to them for their hospitality! Terry from the Miami Valley Veterans Museum gave a talk on the museum and it’s history in the Miami Valley. It was very interesting to hear about their growth and their ever-expanding mission.
We enjoyed sandwiches from Subway, and delicious soups from Panera. On such a cold day, their broccoli cheddar and chicken noodle soups really hit the spot!
After dinner, all attention turned to our Director, Valerie, as she gave a quick speech introducing Operation Veteran and Caregiver Support to the new faces in the crowd. She explained that purpose of these events is to get veterans from different eras, branches, and experiences together, in an environment that doesn’t deal with alcohol or religion, for socializing and learning. We are a non-profit that was created just before the Covid-19 pandemic, and we have seen the effects of isolation and the push towards technology-based care on the veterans we support. We hope that these events allow veterans a chance to get out and talk with others who share their same experiences.
Terry had everyone riveted as he spoke about the history of the museum, it’s purpose in the community, and the growth they have experienced since it’s inception. His talk served as a springboard for the veterans in the crowd to share their experiences, and we shared a few laughs at the stories about contraband – a shared secret from Vietnam all the way to Iraqi Freedom!
Terry ended his time with us by addressing the kids in the crowd. He shared his story of being sent to boot camp and being given boots as an incoming private. Everyone was given brown boots, and told by their new COs to have them “black as night” by morning. He had been given a black pair, due to his small feet, so he wasn’t worried. His fellow soldiers, however, were. It was their first night, and there were terrified to mess up their first assignment. Imagine their relief when they walked out the doors of their barracks and there, lined up on the sidewalk, were children of the active duty soldiers who lived on the base. They all had shoe shine kits and signs, ‘$2 a pair’. We all laughed with Terry imagining all the children enjoying their new bikes and toys, purchased by each incoming class of recruits!
Thanks to our volunteers, like Tammy Westfall, our volunteer coordinator, our souper supper was a souper success! We hope to see everyone at our February event, which will be held at the Tipp Center on Wednesday February 23rd from 5-8pm. For more information, check out our upcoming events page! https://operationveterancaregiver.org/?page_id=18