Despite the high temperatures, we had a great crowd for our Muster & Mingle in Tipp City on July 26th. We gathered in a new room in the Tipp Center, and everyone agreed that it felt much more cozy! After a bit of time for socializing, our Director Valerie made some announcements, letting everyone know about all the great events coming up in the next few weeks, from Troops in Town to VFW Car Shows. Operation Veteran and Caregiver Support has a lot of things coming up as well, you can check out all of our events here! After her announcements, she was surprised by a presentation made by a longtime participant caregiver, Mrs. Mary Boykin. She wanted to honor Valerie because, in her words “She spends all her time shining her light on other people, and she deserves to have a little brightness her way also.”
Once the tears were all dried up and the cheers had quieted down, we said the blessing and then we dug into dinner! We had dinner from Fazolis, and they made sure to send along a stockpile of delicious breadsticks for us to enjoy. More conversation was enjoyed over dinner, with a brief interlude by Pastor Brad Klepacz from Tipp City Baptist Church, who was teaching a class on the Bill of Rights that evening. He invited any of those present who were interested to attend.
After everyone was full, Al Bailey from Honor Flight Dayton took to the ‘stage’. He spoke earnestly, bringing the history of Honor Flight and it’s origins in a doctor’s office in Springfield to life. He told us a little of his story as a veteran, as well as his post-military life. Sharing anecdotes about past Honor Flights he has been apart of, he had the crowd hanging on his every word. Al encouraged all those veterans from the Vietnam, Korea, and WWII Eras to sign up for trips and as he did, the passion he has for brining these moments to life for veterans was evident. He told us about other ways to honor veterans of those conflicts, such as the Memorial Tribute they perform with photos of veterans who passed away before they could visit the monuments.