Photo Gallery | Local Military Retirement Community Gives Back to Current Deployed U.S. Military this Holiday Season
Knollwood is a continuing care retirement community in Washington D.C. for retired military and their family members. It is the first military retirement community in the United States exclusively for retired officers, their spouses or widows and nuclear female relatives. Knollwood’s mission since it first opened in 1962 has been to provide affordable, secure retirement housing, as well as health care to members of the American military family.
Knollwood has many residents from the Northern Virginia area, and they have gone on trips to Gadsby's Tavern, the Air Force Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Mount Meyer and concerts at Wolf Trapp. COL James F. Laufenburg (Ret.), the Acting Executive Director of Knollwood Army Distaff Foundation, hails from Arlington, and numerous other Knollwood staff members reside in Northern Virginia. The Knollwood retirement community has some special service projects around the holidays, including the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. This particular service project makes the entire Knollwood retirement community this week’s Super NoVA.
The American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program allows these elderly veterans to create handcrafted cards and heartfelt messages to send to members of our U.S. military, veterans and their families who are far away from home during the holidays. These elderly veterans know what it was like to be away from home during the holiday season, so it was especially rewarding for them to help others who are now in that same position as they once were years ago.
“They say they did it gladly and would do it again, however, giving active military soldiers and their families a homemade card and simple holiday message has been a gift to both the giver and receiver,” said Erin Wheeler, Knollwood’s Director of Therapeutic Recreation and SCC Program Manager.
A few more powerful statements included:
- "Your gift during this holiday season will go far beyond what you can see now." - Anonymous
- "Seasons Greetings to our service men and women who are making our democracy work." - COL Ruth Lucas (Ret.)
- "Serving our country during this wonderful Holiday Season will bless you and your family for years to come." - Anonymous
While the military abroad certainly appreciate the warm messages, the director believes that the residents by far are the people who benefit the most.
“Residents have said they feel happier when they give to others and that it makes each day worth living to help another,” added Wheeler.
Look out for more Super NoVAs every Wednesday going forward. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to nominate yourself, or someone you know that deserves to be recognized as a Super NoVA!