By Teresa Rochester, Public Information Officer, Veterans Home of California – Barstow
Some people shy away from having their picture taken and sharing their stories, but 30 residents at the Veterans Home in Barstow did just that for #veteransdayeveryday, a social media campaign highlighting their lives and service.Every day in November, veterans’ portraits and stories will be featured on the Home’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
The series kicked off Nov. 1 with Robert, 71, a retired Marine Corps master sergeant.
“It made me feel really good,” Robert said about the outpouring of positive comments. “A lot of people didn’t know that much about me and they said it was a good story and that I did a lot in the military.”
The campaign shines a light on the Home’s veterans in a creative and new way, said Home Administrator James Sullivan.
“It gives us the unique opportunity to focus on who these men and women are and what it meant to serve their country,” he said.
Other veterans featured in the campaign include:
Al, 80, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. “I always wanted to be in the military,” Al said. “My dad was in World War I. My brother was in World War II. I was strong and healthy and young and I couldn’t see myself not serving with those two examples in my life.” He enlisted in 1956, attracted to the fledgling branch by the chance to learn electronics.
Pat, 76, is Vietnam War Era Veteran, who served in the Army. She enlisted in 1965 at the age of 25. At Fort McClellan, Pat found herself waiting for enough women to arrive to form a platoon so basic training could get underway. It was her first time away from home. “It was really fun,” she said. “It was so different. Everything was so new to me…This was my first breakaway outing.” Along with learning how to be a soldier, there were classes on being a lady, as a soldier, as well, Pat said.
George, 86, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, served from 1949 to 1955. He spent time in Guam, where he repaired radios on Boeing B-50s and Boeing B-29 Superfortresses used for weather reconnaissance during the Korean War. “It made me more responsible,” George said about his service. “And it gave me an appreciation of country. You know we have the greatest. There is none better.”
“We hope that the public will join us in celebrating their lives and their commitment to a cause greater than themselves, and say thank you to those that rejected tyranny in the world and ensured our freedom,” Sullivan said.
Read more about their stories and find others on the Home’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/VHCBarstow/.
All photos courtesy of JD Scoop Photography.