Happy Veterans Day 2021

 In Enrichment

Sometimes a particular holiday can feel so weighty that you don’t quite know how to properly celebrate it. It’s a feeling that I suspect many of us get when reflecting on the sacrifices of our active and retired service members during the week of November 11th. A simple “Happy Veterans Day,” while certainly not a hollow phrase, doesn’t necessarily capture the depth of gratitude we wish to express or the honor we hope to show.

That’s why when Veterans Day comes around, we like to observe it with a touch of pomp and circumstance! It’s always a pleasure to honor each of the retired members of our armed forces who live with us on campus.We’ve come together to honor our veterans with music and ceremony in past years too, but we suspect Veterans Day 2021 may just go down in the books as a particularly special celebration. Tell us what you think!

Celebrating a Happy Veterans Day 2021

We were pleased to welcome John Sachleben CDR (Ret) USN and the Navy Junior ROTC group from Highland High School to our campus. Presenting in their full uniforms, the midshipmen (a designation that has included both men and women since 1975) helped us wish our military residents a happy Veterans Day in truly fine fashion.
The event commenced with the singing of our National Anthem, and we were excited to have our own Amanda Pohlman lead us. Sharing music is such a gift, and Amanda did us all proud!
A woman sings into a microphone beside four uniformed Navy Junior ROTC members holding flags.

Our Veterans Day Message of Thanks

Before handing out certificates to each of the veterans on our campus, we took a moment to reflect on the sacrifices required of all the brave men and women who enter into our country’s military service.

Marci Thomas, our Director of Life Enrichment, read a poem in honor of the day.

“On Veterans Day we honor all,
Who answered to a service call.
Soldiers young and soldiers old,
Fought for freedom, brave and bold.
Some have lived, while others died,
And all of them deserve our pride.
We’re proud of all the soldiers who,
Kept thinking of red, white and blue.
They fought for us and all our rights,
They fought through many days and nights.
And though we may not know each name,
We thank ALL veterans just the same.”   

A Majority Call to Support Our Veterans Better

The sad truth is that for many former service members, receiving a smile and a “Happy Veterans Day” is the least of their concerns. We’re proud of the work our care staff does year-round for the needs of our diverse group of residents at OESH. Unfortunately, national veteran care services could use a boost.

Recent Pew research shows that veteran care services are not receiving the funding and attention most citizens believe they deserve. A whopping 72% of (equally Democrat and Republican) US adults claim they would allocate more money to veteran services and benefits. Veterans Affairs favorability numbers are also particularly low among government agencies.

There are certain questions, struggles, and obstacles we all face if we live long enough. Combatting senior isolation, deciding on independent living vs taking on a caregiver, warning signs of dementia-related illnesses, are just a few. According to medical reporting, however, aging veterans often face unique healthcare needs on top of all of that. It’s critical that we honor and support the needs of these human beings, without whom, our lives would be in peril.

So, “Happy Veterans Day” may not be enough, but it’s a place to start. It’s hard to deny that more needs to be done for US military veterans, but hopefully we’ll get there soon. It’s still good to have a special day dedicated to acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice that sustains this nation. Moreover, sometimes the most effective way to convey our gratitude and appreciation is by coming together for a common cause and celebrating our heroes. What’s more American than that?



Thanks again to John and the Navy Junior ROTC, both for their own service and for helping us honor OESH’s veteran heroes.

Six Navy Junior ROTC members in uniform beside a man in a leather jacket and khaki pants.