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Veteran Related Activities and Initiatives Add Life Enrichment Opportunities for Seniors
MINNEAPOLIS (May 23, 2014) – As the nation approaches Memorial Day and takes time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country, The Goodman Group is honored to have opportunities throughout the year to recognize and thank its senior veteran residents, their spouses and families. Throughout its managed senior living communities around the country, The Goodman Group supports numerous veteran related activities and initiatives as part of its Life Enrichment programs.
Several of The Goodman Group’s managed communities have supported regional hubs of Honor Flight Network, a national non-profit organization created to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices, and transports them to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at the memorials at no cost, since 2006. The communities have helped generate awareness for the programs so resident veterans can apply to participate on Honor Flights, hosted local fundraisers, and provided health care and Life Enrichment escorts who have cared for the vets, and even donated the use of wheelchairs and other equipment for flights.
In fact, 77 members of America’s “Greatest Generation” from Montana’s Big Sky Honor Flight recently traveled to D.C. as part of the state’s final Big Sky Honor Flight honoring World War II (WWII) veterans. The flight included 76 men and one woman, ranging from age 83 to 96 and included a visit to the WWII Memorial, which honors the 16 million who served in uniform, 400,000 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.
“My father and I served in the armed forces in the U.S. Coast Guard,” said John Goodman, chairman of The Goodman Group. “It’s important to our family to give back to others and to support our veterans through wonderful recognition programs, such as the Honor Flights.”
Valiant Veterans® is a Life Enrichment program created by The Goodman Group that offers monthly activities at many of the company’s senior living and health care communities. The Valiant Veteransprogram is open to anyone who served in the U.S. military, their spouses and family members. The program gives veterans a chance to spend time with others who have similar experiences, share stories and commemorate unique times in America’s history. Typically, the clubs meet on a monthly basis and often include guest speakers, special programs and interactions with local military organizations and veterans.
Miramont Pointe, a senior living community in Clackamas, Ore., featured local author and columnist Ardis Stevenson at one of its Valiant Veteran’s Club luncheons. Stevenson is the author of Dusty’s War, a book based on her father’s World War I diary and conversations. Chandler Place, an assisted living community in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, decided to spotlight its resident veterans as a group with a “Veterans Wall” to honor and recognize their service. The Valiant Veterans Club at The Peaks, A Senior Living Community in Flagstaff, Ariz., conducts annual fundraisers to support the Wounded Warrior Program. Veteran residents at The Plaza at The Palms of Largo in Florida recently helped welcome home active duty service members from deployment. In addition to sharing a meal, the intergenerational gathering provided those in uniform with an opportunity to socialize and share experiences with resident veterans. Many of the service members are looking at volunteering with the seniors.
“The thing I have always valued about The Goodman Group is that they allow us to care for the people we serve,” noted Tina Vauthier, president of Big Sky Honor Flight and executive director of Westpark Village in Billings, Mont. “They don’t just say it, we all live it and walk it each and every day. I’m so fortunate to work for a company that not only cares about our nation’s veterans, but all seniors.”
Many of The Goodman Group’s senior living, health care and residential communities, offer veteran discount’s and veteran’s aid financial assistance as an expression of the company’s appreciation for their service to our country.
“I have found that our veteran residents gain so much energy and life when participating in military or veteran related functions and activities,” noted Tammy Perez-Shorter, The Plaza program coordinator at The Plaza at The Palms of Largo, a master-planned, 88-acre intergenerational living campus in Largo, Fla. “There is a sense of community and camaraderie with those that have served in the military that you don’t often find in civilian life. It’s so important for us to not only honor our veterans, but to give them opportunities to feel that sense of commitment and camaraderie. It truly is an honor for us to serve the men and women who have served our country.”