Her Story: Welcome Home
Mrs. Jefferson has lived here for many years and wanted to share what life is like at Bob Hope Village and Hawthorn House—and how supporters like you have given her a safe, loving home.
“I decided when I was very young that I wanted to marry an Air Force man.
When I started working, I came down to Eglin Air Force Base and met Don. We started dating, and he wanted to get married but didn’t want to stay in the service after his four-year tour. I told him that this was a deal breaker, and he would have to stay in for life if we were going to get married.
Don stayed in the Air Force for 21 years, and of course we got married. His enlistment took us all around the world—Colorado, Ottawa, Virginia, Libya, Washington, and Oregon. I worked in the State Department and other agencies while he served.
Our time when we were stationed in Libya was memorable. The Mediterranean was in front of the base, and the Sahara was on the right.
Somehow, we always ended up back at Eglin. I felt like I belonged there. Everyone knew everyone, and we all looked out for each other. We even used to come and visit AFEV, which was nearby, and donated when we could. We once saw Bob Hope there. That was quite an experience.
In 2006, Don was diagnosed with cancer. We talked about what I should do, and he said I should move to AFEV after he passed.
As soon as I moved in, someone said, “Welcome home.” And it was true. I had come home.
I lived at Bob Hope Village for almost ten years, but I had some health troubles and started mixing up my pills. I needed more help but didn’t want to admit it.
I moved into AFEV’s assisted living facility, Hawthorn House. I haven’t regretted it for a day, and I don’t know what I would have done without it.
I’m very happy at Hawthorn House. I have my own apartment, and if I ever want company, I just head up to the snack bar. Someone is always there, and we have a delightful chat.
We do more activities for shorter periods than at Bob Hope Village. Our New Year’s Eve party started at 7:00 and was over by 9:00. But we had more fun in those two hours than in the six or seven hours we might have spent together in our younger years.
Then there’s the staff. They are so kind. It’s nice to know that I have people around who care if I’m well or not well, and who will check up on me.”
Mrs. Jefferson’s story is filled with what makes our country great. Selfless service…patriotism… gratitude…a noble heart…and all the many other values that have made our country the beacon of freedom and light in our troubled world.
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