“We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.” – Ellen Degeneres
I had the pleasure of feeding the Veterans at Veteran Village a delicious meal of macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, buffalo chicken, salad, green bean casserole, and some desserts.
I decided to feed the Veterans as my choice of community service because I had never done service for people other than children and I thought that having an opportunity to give service to an older group of people would be a different impact on myself but also the veterans as well. While serving the veterans food and having the opportunity to stand in line with them and have a little conversation, we kind of covered the basic about where they are from, what they do now after serving our country, and if they have any big plans for the future.
Now everyone I spoke to pretty much said they went back to school or they were planning on going back so they could be able to find steady jobs for themselves but after talking to Dr. Soldani and discussing how amazing it was that they had all this motivation of going back to school and knowing what they wanted to major in and specifically wanted to do, everyone that volunteered soon realized that these plans of theirs will probably not happen. It is sad that these people that served our country will probably not have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams because of the lack of money they have to support themselves, or other personal reasons that prevent them from going back to school. It made me appreciate the fact that my parents support me so much and basically planned their lives around my brothers and I so we can have the future and life we want.
Also I could tell when I would start the conversation the veterans would be shy at first in conversing with me but after a couple of minutes they would open up more and even crack a smile and I feel like it made them enjoy their meal more.
It also seemed to me that the veterans appreciated us going out of our ways to have conversations with them because we were treating them like normal people, Dr. Soldani had even explained to us that students would volunteer all the time and would be scared the veterans would try and steal their belongings.
One of the highlights of the night was when a veteran came back into the kitchen and decided to sing us a song and you could tell he was excited for us to listen to his song, and when he sang he was very passionate about it. I think those moments for them make them feel not so alienated anymore but also shows the volunteers that even when someone is having a rough time in life, they will find a way to make themselves happy.
I really enjoyed my time serving dinner to the veterans and I definitely recommend to everyone to volunteer one day to serve dinner to these deserving people.