It’s been 93 years since Veterans Day was first recognized, to celebrate and thank the millions of men and women who answered the call to serve their country. This upcoming Veterans Day marks another year American House has done what it can to celebrate and thank them too.
“The residents of our community represent decades of service,” explained Bob Gillette, who founded American House in 1979. “To be able to serve them and their families is a privilege and an honor.”
American House Choir performs. Photo Credit: Jason Vaughn/Vaughn Media
Recognizing veterans through song, educating future generations, sharing experiences and giving back to our communities, are just a few of the ways American House knows how to serve our veterans.
Patriotic themes and holidays have always been central to the wellness programs at American House. This year, American House’s patriotic programming focused around the establishment of the American House Choir, which saw its debut at this year’s Flag Day, on June 14.
Lead by conductor Daniel Greig, the choir exhibited their love of music and country by singing patriotic favorites. Throughout the year, members of the choir, many of whom are veterans themselves, have belted out patriotic staples like “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful.”
Bob Gillette, Founder, American House. Photo Credit: Jason Vaughn/Vaughn Media
The debut of the American House Choir program during Flag Day also allowed us time to recognize the veterans of the community, with the help of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Color Guard, who were kind enough to help us honor our proud residents and combat veterans.
A few weeks after Flag Day, the choir performed for Independence Day, but perhaps the shining moment for the American House Choir would come during Navy Week, on Sept. 7. Their love of music would again be on showcase, when they opened for the likes of the Navy Band, and the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra, at Metro Park in Harrison Township, Michigan.
In addition to singing during Navy Week, many residents were also able to enjoy the spectacular naval vessels, which sailed and docked along Detroit’s riverfront. Among the vessels were modern ships like the USS Hurricane, as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Brig Niagara, which is an exact reconstruction of a wooden-hulled ship that helped win the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie.
Equally as important as celebrating veterans is to empower and educate future generations of Americans. For example, American House resident, invited to speak to the students and staff of Holy Family Elementary, brought his experiences to them. Murphy was a radioman for a Boeing B-17 heavy bomber during World War II.
American House Resident, Alfred, displays a model Boeing B-17. He was a radio man for a B-17 during World War II. Photo Credit: Jason Vaughn/Vaughn Media
United States Veteran’s Administration estimates that the population of WWII veterans will dip below 1.5 million, less than one tenth of the population who served our country during those years. Now is the time to pass on firsthand experience, before it is lost.
“I’ve been blessed to know and work with America’s heroes,” said Gillette. “We’ve been given an opportunity to help the remaining veterans pass on their stories. We can all benefit from their wisdom, courage, and experience.”
In addition to education and life enrichment, American House is committed to giving back to our veterans. In efforts to help the Veterans Support Center in Roseville replenish their pantry, American House East II will be holding a food drive through the duration of November. Non-perishable food items can be dropped off at 18760 13 Mile Rd, Roseville, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.
The term “veteran” has become synonymous with the word “sacrifice.” Throughout this memorial season, remember to thank a veteran, young or old. Everyone is welcome to visit their local American House, view our Wall of Honor, and thank the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives to ensure our freedoms.
Founded over 30 years ago, the goal of American House is to provide the most rewarding life experiences for each and every resident. To find an American House near you this Veterans Day, please visit http://www.americanhouse.com/ or call (248) 203-1800.