The Rochester & Rochester Hills Gazette recently ran a preview of our recent Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs event, held July 13 at Oakmont Rochester Independent.
The Michigan Vietnam Veteran Traveling Memorial comes to Oakmont Sterling from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 24. All are invited to view this memorial wall, which was created to honor those who lost their lives and served in Southeast Asia. A barbecue and refreshments will be available for all who attend.
The wall was created in 2005. The black, granite slabs contain the names of more than 2,600 Michigan veterans who were killed in action. Overall, more than 58,000 service members were either killed or listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.
Oakmont Sterling is located at 41155 Pond View Drive, Sterling Heights.
For many, coming to Belle Isle on a sunny June day brought back memories of coming to the fabled island park.
But for everyone, the Oakmont Picnic was a good opportunity for residents of all eight Oakmont communities to come together for a great time.
Rosemary of Oakmont Rochester recalled coming to Belle Isle as a youngster.
“I think I was 5 years old. I was chaperoning my aunt. My grandmother wouldn’t let her out of the house without someone with her,” she joked. “I remember my mother saying she learned how to drive here. So I love the history of the island. I love the history of Detroit.
“This used to be called Hog Island when the Native Americans were here. At one time, it used to have one of the largest orchid exhibits in Detroit. It was very beautiful. It’s great to see it come alive again.”
Belle Isle: Buses, burgers and BBQ fun
Buses brought all the residents to the pavilion near the Aquarium and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. There, everyone gathered for a catered cookout with hot dogs, burgers and a plethora of other goodies you’d find at a great summer picnic.
It began as a lofty goal – raising $22,000 to help Oakmont Senior Communities pair a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog with a deserving local veteran. And thanks to the help of Oakmont’s residents, staff, family and friends – and especially with significant donations from the American Legion – this will soon become a reality.
This good news coincides with Oakmont honoring American Legion Post 253 and American Legion 18th District for their generous financial support at a special event on July 13. The money raised goes toward covering the cost of training, transportation and lifetime veterinary care for Whiskey, a 2-year-old German Shepherd.
Whiskey was chosen from 10 service dogs in a special vote. He will be paired with a vet by Veterans Day 2017. The voting took place among Oakmont’s eight communities, which offer everything from independent living, enhanced independent living, assisted living and memory care.
Whiskey’s specialty is PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) training, which helps him to provide non-aggressive protection. He can even recognize nightmares taking place with the person he is protecting. Often, those dealing with PTSD have a very difficult time sleeping; thus, he can help provide most restful sleep.
It’s no wonder our residents are so excited about the upcoming Oakmont Senior Communities annual picnic on June 27 at Belle Isle. After all, when they think of Belle Isle, it takes them back many years to some great memories.
“I lived a block away from the Franklin Settlement House in Detroit and they would provide a station wagon,” said Clara, an Oakmont Manor resident. “Every Friday night in the summer, my friends and family went in the station wagon to Belle Isle. We would visit the aquarium and the conservatory to go swimming, then my mom would bring out the tuna salad and make us all sandwiches.
“I sometimes went with the girls from work and rented bikes and rode around the island. I went on dates there and one particular date we went ‘parking’ with some other couples.” Clara also recalled her father and uncles taking them on horse and buggy rides on the island, as well as trips to the zoo on the island.
“That is why these trips every year with Oakmont to Belle Isle are so special to me,” Clara said.
Forrest (Oakmont Livonia) also has fond memories from visiting Belle Isle.