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Shirley Gilkeson: DAR planning a Christmas party for veterans

Dec. 07, 2012 @ 01:20 PM

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution is sponsoring a Christmas party for the veterans residing at the West Virginia Veterans’ Home at Barboursville from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16. The public is invited to join in making this a very Merry Christmas for our veterans.  

Members of the Kanawha Valley Chapter, their friends and co-workers have personal care items, clothing, books, CDs, food, and many other items that the veterans requested. More items to fill the Veterans wish lists, including flannel shirts (especially sizes 2X, 3X, 4X and 5X large), sweatpants (sizes medium and upward), Marshall and West Virginia University items, country and gospel CDs, wallets with chains, watches, skin lotions, cologne, suspenders, puzzles, coffee, books (especially military related), magnifying glasses, belts, and DVDs. Items are also needed to fill back packs for homeless veterans, including gloves, hats, heavy socks, hand warmers, and canned meat. To learn more about donating or volunteering to assist with the Christmas Party, contact Carolyn Rabalais at rabalaiscarolyn@aol.com or 304-984-3325.

 Entertainment will be provided by local musicians Roger Rabalais, Jeff Ellis, Mark Atherson, Dave McClanahan, Darryl “Topper” Brown, Ellen Woods and others. DAR members will provide lots of good food, including meatballs, chicken nuggets, deviled eggs, hot casserole dishes, cheese cubes, vegetable trays, fruit salad, cookies, cakes, candy and much more. Veterans present at the party will have the opportunity to win some great door prizes.

The West Virginia Veterans’ Home is located at 512 Water St. in Barboursville, 15 miles from downtown Huntington. The home was authorized in 1975 and became a reality in 1981.  

To be eligible for residency, veterans must have left the service with an honorable discharge or with a general discharge under honorable conditions, and those veterans discharged after Sept. 7, 1980, must have served at least 24 consecutive months. Due to the health and welfare of residents of the Barboursville Veterans’ Home, there are certain pre-admission medical tests which must be completed prior to being accepted.  

All qualified veterans must be ambulatory and independent in all activities of daily living. The home is not a treatment facility and cannot accommodate veterans in need of daily care or skilled assistance.  

The home provides a nursing department and a contract physician. All medical treatment is provided by the VA Medical Center located in Huntington. Transportation is provided to the medical center three times daily.  

Rooms available for occupancy accommodate two, three or four persons. Every effort is made to ensure compatibility between occupants. Female veterans are most welcome and special lodging accommodations are provided.  

A person’s income is not a factor in gaining admission, although residents are required to contribute one-half of his or her monthly income as their maintenance contribution. The home is very liberal in its rules and regulations. Residents may leave on a pass for up to three days by simply signing a daily log sheet. Residents are authorized up to 30 days of furlough per year.  

Emphasis is placed on maintaining a warm, attractive and comfortable “home” for the West Virginia veteran who is in need of a place to live. The residents and staff extend an invitation to the public to visit the West Virginia Veterans’ Home.  

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution expresses appreciation to staff at the Veterans Home for their assistance in arranging the Christmas party.  

Please stop by the West Virginia Veterans’ Home on Sunday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. to enjoy music and have some refreshments.   

Contact Carolyn Rabalais at rabalaiscarolyn@aol.com or 304-984-3325 if you would like to donate or help make this a wonderful Christmas for our veterans.

Shirley Gilkeson is an Honorary WV State Regent and an Honorary Regent Kanawha Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She can be reached at SGilkeson@aol.com.