Every Monday morning, I’m at the Center For The Aging on the grounds of Tripler Army Medical Center. By far, the most popular person there is the lady with the crafts wagon.
Frankly, I’m glad she comes into the dining room where I perform because if she’s not there, the room would be empty. I’m not very popular. She’s prettier than me.
Heidi making a moccasin
Heidi works for an organization called Help Hospitalized Veterans. She’s on the grounds of TAMC at least four days a week, helping the veterans do projects that keep their minds and hands busy.
Heidi grew up on the mainland and makes Hawaii home with her husband and family. She is half Okinawan and tries to stay in touch with her heritage by cooking Okinawan pig’s feet soup and other popular dishes.
Help Hospitalized Veterans has been around since 1971 and celebrated its 40th anniversary in April. The National Headquarters is in Winchester, California but Heidi works out of the VA Medical Center on the grounds of TAMC.
The services are available to anyone who is considered a veteran and to those who retired from the military. You don’t need to be a disabled veteran to use their services.
Some of the art work by the residents at the Center include paintings, building model cars and planes and even making moccasins.
Many of the residents look forward to Heidi’s visits and help. She is very positive and encourages everyone no matter how much difficulty they have utilizing their hands.