They have served us with honor, and on November 11, military veterans became the guests of honor as more than 270 people gathered for a special celebration at Atlantic Shores Retirement Community. Each year, the patriotic community invites local guests and dignitaries to personally honor each resident veteran, as well as the loved ones of veterans who have recently passed.
Local Cub Scout packs, high school JROTC members, community and church vocal groups, area musicians, and even members of the Combat Veteran’s Motorcycle Association have been among those gathered to recognize those who have fought for our freedom. Honored speakers, pinning ceremonies, color guard and patriotic musical performances all combine to acknowledge the extreme sacrifices made by our American veterans and their families. An emotional playing of taps also memorializes all veterans who are no longer with us.
Located in the heart in one of the country’s largest military communities, Atlantic Shores deeply values all servicemen, and is home to a large number of retired servicemen and women from the Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard — many who have served honorably, earning Purple Heart and Silver Star awards.
The community also boasts many civilians who have been recognized for making a vital difference to the readiness and well-being of soldiers on the frontiers of freedom, including 102-year-old resident Doris C. Baker. For almost 30 years, Miss Baker earned her way into the hearts of Special Forces soldiers and their families as a teacher assigned to Bad Toelz, Germany, the first overseas assignment base for the 1/10th Special Forces Group Airborne (Green Berets).
Her adventures in Europe put her directly in the path of history, including close-call border crossings, and a face-to-face encounter with Hitler’s last active general – experiences which served as the basis for Doris’ memoir “The Originals” — the first book about the Green Berets written by a woman. Miss Baker’s legacy of support was recently honored with induction as an Honorary Member of the Special Forces Regiment (Green Berets), an honor bestowed on only nine other distinguished individuals worldwide, only two of whom are women.
Atlantic Shores is also home to the Colonial Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, an organization which honors past and present veterans for the sacrifices they have made, and educates elementary and high school students children on the principles of citizenship, leadership, and how to support the freedoms their previous generation fought so hard to achieve. The group is part of the National Freedoms Foundation — a patriotic organization started soon after WWII to help rebuild war-torn countries in Europe, and strengthen democracy throughout Europe and the U.S. The Colonial Chapter was chartered in 2008 as the first chapter in Virginia.
In addition to Veteran’s Day celebrations, Atlantic Shores also salutes retired and active duty military year-round, with special event partnerships including the Virginia International Tattoo.
This inspiring event features an astounding display of patriotism and international cooperation, with military and civilian bands, drill teams, bagpipe and drum bands, and highland dancers from around the world combining to create a powerful, unified and extraordinary performance.
For more information on Atlantic Shores and it’s active community of military veterans, visit www.atlanticshoresliving.com.