Serving Those Who Served Us
By Cookie Steponaitis
photo by providedMiss Vermont and a group of talented performers lifted spirits and thanked Vermont's veterans.
photo by provided
In the ever-changing dynamics of the modern world it is often hard to stop and reflect on what we as a nation have. Most of us are so busy making decisions, working hard and living life that there is not a moment when reflection on those who came before is the first task at hand. This past weekend a group of young people took up the age-old tradition of the USO entertaining military staff and traveled to the Veterans’ Home in Bennington, Vermont. An hour was spent with songs, dancing, poetry, group songs, laughter and celebration of the contributions of Vermont’s veterans to life in our world today. The Veterans’ Home residents span ages of 25 to approaching 100 and the home is more than a place for veterans to get the health care they need. It is a community that celebrates and commemorates what freedom is and what the individuals living there gave to ensure it for the next generation.
Bob Hope led the USO tours overseas and at bases in America for over forty-five years and brought a cavalcade of stars, singers, dancers and movie icons to entertain the troops and bring a ‘Touch of Home’ to those who were not home. Chartered by the U.S .Congress as a non-profit corporation, the USO is actually not a part of the U.S. government and gets to direct its funding. Each President serves as the Honorary Chairman of the USO and each generation takes up the charge to help veterans and soldiers in their own way. The group was led by Miss Vermont Rylee Field and Miss Vermont’s Outstanding Teen Alexandra Diehl and spent time chatting and learned some of the stories of those veterans who reside in the Bennington care home. While the time was short the impact was not. Both sides relished in the gifts of the other and both want to set up a return visit soon. As spring beckons and new blooms turn out thoughts to the warmth ahead, let all of us pause for a moment and remember the commitment and gifts we have been given by those who perhaps now could use moment of our time and a bit of our thanks.
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