Navy veteran Paul Colyer of North Little Rock, Ark., shares stories of his time as a Navy medic in Vietnam with Soldiers from the 90th Sustainment Brigade, Special Troops Battalion of Camp Pike, Ark. Soldiers of the 90th volunteered at the Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare Center in North Little Rock, Ark., by handing out coffee and cookies while visiting with veterans on Nov. 5,
2011. The center, more commonly known as Fort Roots, is part of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and provides many rehabilitation services to local veterans. Photo by
Army 1st Sgt. Larry Mears
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (11/7/2011) -- The smell of coffee and Girl
Scout cookies filled the air at the Eugene J. Towbin Healthcare
Center as local Army Reserve soldiers strolled inside with gifts and
donations in hand Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011.
The soldiers of the
90th Special Troops Battalion at Camp Pike in North Little Rock,
Ark., volunteered to spend their morning visiting the residents of
the healthcare center while serving them coffee and cookies. The
center offers veterans many rehabilitation services, medical
treatment, housing assistance and drug abuse programs.
Mission coordinator, 1st Lt. Dale D. Barnes, commander, Headquarters
and Headquarters Company, 90th STB, said his purpose for this
mission was to start giving back to veterans who served the people
of the United States.
"I wanted the soldiers to feel good
about the job they are doing and see that people do take care of us
after separation" said Barnes. "I wanted to go somewhere so that
veterans can go and live while getting help."
After delivering donated clothing, personal hygiene
products, flags, bedding, food and even a guitar, soldiers
socialized with the veterans sharing stories of their
service. The 90th also displayed several vehicles providing
veterans a glimpse of some of the advances in today's
Air Force veteran Sharon Culbert, a resident at the center, shared
laughs with some of the soldiers. While sipping her coffee
she explained how she separated from the military. “When it
was time to go, I didn't have the right sandals to go to the
Gulf War, so I got out,” she jokingly said.
she had not been deployed to a war zone, she expressed how
much she enjoyed being in the military and encouraged
everyone to keep up the good work.
Musselman, Chaplains Assistant with the 112th Chaplains Det.
at Camp Pike in North Little Rock, Ark., said that he was
unsure what to expect when headed to the center. After
visiting with a few of the patients he felt that the
residents were well taken care of.
encouraged by his visit with Culbert. “Her overall attitude
was great. I don't know why she was there, but she seemed
thankful for what we were doing,” said Musselman, “That made
me feel good about what I was doing.”
resident emerged from his room just a few feet behind the
group. Before he could close his door, the soldiers were
offering coffee and asking him to share his story. He
politely declined the coffee before retreating back into his
room. A few moments later, Army veteran Gerald Bennett,
emerged from his room with a handmade scrapbook covered in
The soldiers hovered around
attentively listening to him share some of his personal
military history and memories of his time before separation
from the Army as a specialist. The hallway became quiet;
nothing was heard but Bennett's voice.
some of the best memories I have of my military days,” said
The scrapbook boasted coins received,
newspaper articles and certificates received while serving
his country. Before retreating back into his room, he
grabbed a cookie and the soldiers thanked him for all that
he had done for them and their country.
Bennett meant a lot to Pfc. Harold Pickens.
pulled out that photo album, it was pretty nice. It was
relatable,” said Pickens, “I enjoyed the experience and
would love to do it again!”
Barnes felt this visit
was a success and set a goal to try to give back to the
community at least twice yearly now and become more involved
in local events.
“I got a sense that [the veterans]
were pleased to see people who care about them,” said
More photos available in frame below
By Army Spc. Brittney Bradley
343rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
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