Our August Muster & Mingle was a great night of information, food, and socialization. Dinner was provided by Olive Garden and everyone enjoyed the lasagna and spaghetti. We took a few moments to celebrate some milestone events, our Treasurer Mel turned 80 on Monday, so we had cake and cupcakes, making sure to sing him Happy Birthday. We also celebrated Samantha, the daughter of one our of veterans, who is leaving for college in the next few weeks. We surprised her with a gas card for trips home and a snack basket of all her favorites.
We had several speakers there that gave a wide variety of information to the families that gathered there. Dr. Thomas ‘Doc’ Martinez, a Biology Professor from Edison State Community College, came to speak about the military history that he uncovered with his parents, after he called to tell his mom he was coming to speak at our event. Our Muster & Mingle event was a starting point for the Vietnam and Korean War service that had never been talked about before in his family. He got visibly choked up talking, and several veterans made sure to talk to him about it after the event was over.
Wanda Ortiz-Thayne is with the Dayton VA Medical Center Suicide Prevention Community Outreach. She brought some take-home items for our veteran families, to introduce the new Suicide Hotline number, 988. She reminded us that the old number is not going away, but they wanted a number that was easy to remember, especially for family members who find someone in crisis. She spoke about the work her department is doing to help with the veteran suicide crisis, and spoke with a lot of our veterans one on both before and after the event, to make sure that they knew that the Dayton VA was working hard for them.
We were honored to have Kenny Saunders from the Laura Fire Department come to speak to us on fire safety, the importance of having a fire safety plan at home, and his life experiences as a firefighter. We learned about how quickly a fire can have a room fully engulfed, the importance of sleeping with our bedroom doors closed, and how in a fire emergency, it’s okay to run out without your teeth. We were also lucky to have Mark from the Red Cross attending our event, and he was able to speak on the red crosses program for installing smoke detectors for free. Shared some stories of homes where children were not trained in what to do in a fire emergency, and the time that can be wasted looking for them in toy boxes, under beds, and bathtubs. He passed out fire safety plan templates, and spoke with several families after the event about how to implement safety plans at home with young children without scaring them. We are so thankful the Laura Fire Department could spare him for our event, we all learned a lot!
We want to extend another thank you to the Tipp Center, without their support we would not be able to hold these monthly events. Interested in renting meeting space? Check out their website here!
We have lots of fun events coming up, be sure to check out our Upcoming Events page to see where we will be next!