At The Peninsula, the assisted living and memory care community in Hollywood, resident programming coordinator Michelle Hertz recognized a need for a Veterans’ support group.
She started a Saturday discussion group for the men and women who served in the military to be able to come together and share their stories.
“Our Veterans had been informally finding each other but this support group gives them a specific time to gather,” she said. “Also, they are able to meet new residents who are quickly absorbed into the group. Talking about their military careers and experiences is so important and they can find common ground to reminisce.”
Research finds that when someone can tell a story about something that is meaningful to them, it broadens their sense of who they are. This is very powerful for a person and affects their sense of well-being. A support group encourages members to talk about things with others who may have similar experiences.
“The smiles and sometimes tears of their hardships on their faces are especially telling. Conversations continue even after the group concludes a session, said Hertz.
An exciting development of the support group was a presentation recently by the Honor Flight South Florida. The non-profit organization offers a free day trip to Washington DC to honor America’s Veterans for all the sacrifices they’ve made on behalf of our country. The organization targets World War II Veterans and is hoping to find Veterans living at The Peninsula who want to go on an upcoming Honor Flight.
Every trip is escorted by a team of well-trained volunteers and guardians who personally accompanies the Veterans throughout their trip. Veterans are thanked, recognized and admired for their service to American while they visit their memorials in Washington. Honor Flights provides these trips at no cost to the individual and their companion.
“We are so excited to offer this opportunity to our residents who served in the armed forces,” said added. “Since they travel to Washington in the morning and return at night, it’s a long day for them but should provide many new memories to share.”
An application has to be filled out for “Honor Flight” and the group will come back to help Peninsula residents with this process.
If you know of a Veteran living at The Peninsula who would like to go on an Honor Flight, please contact Michelle Hertz at 954-893-7755.