Christmas at the Armed Forces Retirement Home
Hi Lindy Hoppers!!!
Next year will be even better!

A Very Merry Christmas, 2002

For some years, Ellen and Marc have been involved in eventts which bring Swing Dancing to World War II Veterans. For two years, Karyn and I have also been involved in these events; we were thrilled when Ellen phoned an announced that we had an opportunity to perform at the Armed Forces Retirement home on Christmas Day. We were joined in this effort by a wide variety of dancers including Connie Lausten and Tony Nesky, Catherine and Mark Walvoord, Sandra Narva, and Barbara Najar (and her father Tom). Here are a few pictures from the event. This was just a beginning --- next year, we are planning a major production

The Group
Thanks to everyone who came out!

Dancing with the Vets
Dancing with the guys

Ellen Engle and Friend
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

Sandra and Doc
Sandra and "Doc" Schultz
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

Sugar Push
Connie found that one of the Guys remembered the Sugar Push
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

doc display
"Doc" Schultz decorated the Fifth Floor Lobby
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

AFRH Library
The Library
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

bowling alley
Sgt. Stueve shows Ellen and Karyn the Bowling Alley
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

Beer Machine
NCO Paradise -- a Beer machine on every corner...
Photo Credit: Tony Nesky

About the Armed Forces Retirement Home -- in 1850, General Winfield Scott was given $500,000 as tribute for NOT sacking Mexico City at the end of the first Mexican War. General Scott returned to DC and bought a 200 acre parcel of land north of the Capitol and bequeathed it to Congress for use as a retirement home for soldiers. The General left a trust fund for maintenance and operation. The institution was named the United States Soldiers' Home (USSH); persons who have served in the armed forces in the enlisted ranks and non-commissioned officers are elligible to retire at the home after age 62. The number of veterans in residence swelled after the Civil War, then dwindled, then rose after WWI, dwindled, and then rose after WWII when capacity was increased to serve nearly 4,000 men. Until the end of World War II, the air force was part of the Army (actualy called the Army Air Corps); in 1948, the Air Force became a separate service. Accordingly, the home changed its name to "The United Staes Soldiers' and Air Mens Home" (USSAH). The Navy had a similar facility in Gulfport Mississippi. In 200, both institutions were merged into the "Armed Forces Retirement Homes"

The place has everything that you can think of -- a great library, bowling alleys, craft shops, full sized theater (where we're going to do our show...), and extensive medical and dental facilities. The whole thing does not cost the taxpayers a cent! Charges are based on a percentage of each retiree's base pension pay, but include room, board and medical treatment. There is a constant stream of cultural activities. We were very impressed with the quality and variety of crafts on display as made by residents. The ship models were especially noteworthy.

Next year, I am going to come around and personally put the arm on lots of people to join Ellen and Marc in producing a very big USO-Type show

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