The president of the U.S. may have chosen to issue a tweet to salute America’s members of the armed forces on Veterans Day, Nov. 12, opting to remain at the White House, but elected officials from the District, including D.C. Council members and Mayor Bowser, had other plans.
They ventured out in order to visit veterans from the Greater Washington Area who currently reside in assisted living or retirement centers throughout the region, including Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-5) who, accompanied by some of the dedicated members of one Black fraternity, spent time with vets at the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington (AFRH-Washington) in Northwest.
McDuffie shared words of encouragement and thanks to some of the District’s Ward 5 veterans.
“Today, we honor all the men and women who served and sacrificed for our country,” he said. “I thank them for their leadership and commitment.”
“To the veterans I was with today and the other 28,000 veterans who live in our community in the District of Columbia, we are grateful for all you do,” he added.
McDuffie’s traveling companions included fraternity brothers of the Lambda Gamma Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., a military-based chapter out of Fort Meade who regularly host programming for veterans at the AFRH-Washington.
The AFRH-Washington, located in the Park View neighborhood of D.C., welcomes retirees of the U.S. Armed Forces and stands as an independent agency in the executive branch of the U.S. government. Its origins go back to the 19th century as the U.S. Naval Asylum in 1831 and additionally in 1851 when the U.S. Army established the U.S. Soldiers’ Home. The two distinct homes merged as one, the AFRH, in 1991.
Since then, thousands of former U.S. military service members have enjoyed life within the confines of this safe and secure retirement housing complex, which has evolved into one of the country’s premier communities for veterans. The modernized facilities offer a host of activities, healthy meals, wellness programs and advanced care among its many amenities.
AFRH now has two communities in the U.S. — one in the District and another in Gulfport, MS.
Editor’s Note: History buffs may be interested to know that four former U.S. presidents once spent their summers on the grounds now occupied by AFHR-Washington: James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur and Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln, who spent a quarter of his presidency in residence, chose these grounds as a place of solace and inspiration while working on the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862.