Located in the heart in one of the country’s largest military communities, Atlantic Shores Retirement Community continues its connection and involvement with organizations and causes tied to active and retired military.
Recently celebrating its own 20th anniversary, Atlantic Shores supported nearby Naval Air Station Oceana’s anniversary celebration, as promotional partner of their Naval Aviation Symposium and 75th Anniversary Gala. This historic event highlighted the past, present and future of naval aviation while celebrating the men and women who have served at NAS Oceana over the past 75 years.
In an area home to many Hampton Roads Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard facilities, Atlantic Shores also is proud to have a large number of retired military members as part of their community. These active and committed residents help carry forward Atlantic Shores’ legacy of service to the surrounding area, including serving as docents and special event hosts at the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Museum, and as volunteers at local military hospitals.
Atlantic Shores Veterans paired with young cadets from Cox/First Colonial High School Navy Junior Reserve Training Corps to launch an intergenerational mentorship program to record personal stories of military history. Through Vets and Cadets, the next generation of military heroes learn directly from the previous generation. Atlantic Shores veterans shared their stories of bravery and sacrifice with the young cadets, who recorded their personal testimonies using an app called Storycorps.me. When completed, each veteran’s story was uploaded to the Library of Congress for posterity — to keep history alive for future generations.
Atlantic Shores is also home to the Colonial Chapter of Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge, an organization which honors past and present veterans for the sacrifices they have made, and educates children on the principles of citizenship, leadership, and how to support the freedoms their previous generation fought so hard to achieve. Members present awards and scholarships to those who have demonstrated good citizenship on a local level. They also honor living veterans and memorialize those who are no longer with us in ceremonies staged throughout the year.
For their variety of community programs benefiting military veterans, seniors and youth, Atlantic Shores was recently honored with the CoVa BIZ Magazine Community Impact Award, as one of the top 10 local businesses consistently and creatively making an impact in the community by giving back.
Atlantic Shores residents include Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, and Coast Guard veterans that have served honorably – – several earning Purple Heart and Silver Star awards. Many are still active in supporting the current generation of their military colleagues, and have participated in Honor Flight tours to Washington D.C. to be recognized for their service.
According to Anna Little, Atlantic Shores Director of Sales and Marketing, “They were proud to serve us, now we are proud to serve them, both within our community, and our community at large. Our military residents truly feel at home here, and take full advantage of our special amenities, as well as a wealth of nearby services available for military retirees. We even have a Veteran’s Rep that comes to Atlantic Shores to share the latest military benefits and programs. There’s also camaraderie and a vibrant social scene among these residents both within Atlantic Shores, and beyond.”
Atlantic Shores’ ROMEO group (Retired Old Men Eating Out) meets on Saturday mornings to swap military stories over breakfast. Popular outings include the Military Aviation Museum Hanger Dance, and NAS Oceana Air Show dress rehearsals. Historic trips include Fort Monroe, the New American Revolutionary War Museum in Yorktown, and the Battle of Great Bridge Civil War re-enactment.
Atlantic Shores resident and former Marine Ashby Franklin shares, “Many of us lived in this area during our military careers and loved the community. When it came time to retire, we wanted to move back. Atlantic Shores’ location is perfect, between two medium-sized naval stations with additional fitness facilities and private beaches, and easy access to commissaries, exchanges, military hospitals and outpatient centers. There’s also a feeling of comfort and security living here, knowing that the first line of defense is all around us.”
And the community’s military residents are having fun with their retirement; former pilot Bill Jenkins still flies gliders. Retired pilot Milton Beach leads behind-the-scenes tours at NAS Oceana.
Some residents even served as models for The Pin-Up Boys of Atlantic Shores charity calendar, featuring gentlemen from Atlantic Shores, creatively obscured to create the illusion of nudity in a range of comical vignettes, generating more than $20,000 to purchase a new ambulance for a local Volunteer Rescue Squad.
According to Mr. Franklin, “Although we served before, we enjoy serving now in a different way. We have our own community here, where we are treated with respect, and feel like we have an extended family. That helps motivate us to continue paying it forward.”
For more information on Atlantic Shores, visit www.atlanticshoresliving.com.