July 4th Celebration Cancelled This Year


Eight years ago this month was a historic time for our community. People inside and outside the Armed Forces Retirement Home had reached out to one another in 2011 in the spirt of friendship. By June of 2012, the Home and its neighbors were preparing to open the gates for a July 4 festival. That first big day was a huge success, and a tradition was born. Now, after a great eight-year run, we are sad to say there will be no July 4 gathering this year. The health risks of such a large event during the coronavirus pandemic are too great. We look forward to when the community and Home will gather again to celebrate as one community. This is the spirit that led to the creation of Friends of the Soldiers Home. Even a pandemic can’t dampen that.

John Hughes

Chariman and Co-Founder

Friends of the Soldiers Home

FOSH Gathers Video Support Messages for Veterans Armed Forces Day



There’s no Spring Fling 2020 after seven consecutive years of having the event, but let’s enjoy this photo from Fling ’19 last May.

Friends of the Soldiers Home has been unable to see our veteran friends at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in person since February. We miss them terribly. But there is good news! As of April 30, there have been zero reported cases of Covid-19 at the Soldiers Home!

There’s more good news — we have an opportunity to send our veteran friends video messages of support for National Armed Forces Day on May 16th. Record a greeting no longer than 1 minute in length and email it to Marine.robbin(at)afrh.gov by Monday May 11. Tell our veteran friends you miss them and wish them good health, or any other positive message you want to send during these difficult times. Our wonderful children can add their smiling faces and beautiful voices as well. Friends of the Soldiers Home has been unable to bring the community and veterans together in our usual, physical way, but we are excited to send our love virtually!

FOSH Requests Support in Year-End Fundraising Drive



With Giving Tuesday this week, please remember Friends of the Soldiers Home in your year-end donations. FOSH counts on year-end fundraising to support our three annual festivals and volunteer organizing. Donate here or send a check to Friends of the Soldiers Home, P.O. Box 3170, Washington, DC 20010. Your support has enabled our eight years of serving the Armed Forces Retirement Home-DC and the community. Thank you!

Fall Fun Fest Brings Record Attendance to the AFRH Campus



Fall Fun Fest on Sunday, Sept. 29, was fabulous! A record Fall Fest crowd of more than 1,500 people came to the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington campus for a warm, sun-filled day. On the upper campus in the morning, the AFRH organized a fun morning that included a classic car show, petting zoo, DJ Billy White and a Model T assembly.

On the lower campus in the afternoon, Friends of the Soldiers Home hosted the PG and the Hot Tips band, food trucks, face painting, Critter Connections and an inflatable obstacle course. Creative Minds International added a bounce house and pumpkin patch, and the Nam Knights directed parking at the front gate.

We at Friends of the Soldiers Home want to give a sincere thanks to everyone who came to this event, and to our sponsors, DCCX, ANC1A, ANC4C, Anheuser Busch and JES Foundation Repair. Above all, we thank the AFRH residents and staff for welcoming the community to their beautiful campus!

Your Fall Fest Guide!



Your guide courtesy of
Friends of the Soldiers Home for Fall Fun Fest
this Sunday, Sept. 29, 9am to 5pm, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington

Sponsors: DCCX, ANC1A, ANC4C, JES Foundation Repair, Anheuser Busch, Creative Minds, Nam Knights of America

Location: Enter Armed Forces Retirement Home at Randolph Road and Rock Creek Church Road in Washington, D.C. For navigation, use 340 Rock Creek
Church Road N.W., Washington, D.C. Weather: 80 degrees, mostly sunny

Performance Times/Attractions: see flyer below and attached

Cost: Free. Friends of the Soldiers Home requests a $10 donation per carload for drivers

Volunteer: To volunteer for part of the event:


Pets: Sorry, you must leave pets at home

A Very Special Thanks to the staff and residents of the
Armed Forces Retirement Home, who put all the upper campus events together, and for making this event possible!

Hot Outside, Cool Jazz Inside for FOSH’s September Meetup With Veterans



On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Friends of the Soldiers Home hosted veteran residents to a delightful gathering to listen to the great jazz sounds of Herb Scott and Collin Chambers. In addition to booking the talent, Friends of the Soldiers Home ordered pizza and brought in volunteers to serve the food and drinks, and to socialize. It was indeed a special evening at Defender’s Inn on the Armed Forces Retirement Home campus! If you would like to be part of an upcoming Saloon Night, either to perform or volunteer, write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com.

The event occurs the first Tuesday night of each month at 6:30pm. Friends of the Soldiers Home and the community are honored to “give back” to the Home’s fabulous veterans with this special event!

Story and photos by John Hughes and Lou Avenilla  

FOSH Volunteers Share Cool Breeze, Corn Hole With Soldiers Home Veterans


Friends of the Soldiers Home has been sending volunteers to the Armed Forces Retirement Home’s monthly Happy Hour event for about seven years now, and on the evening of Aug. 27 we were privileged to have a group of five from the community participate in the Home’s special activity. FOSH volunteers had a wonderful time with residents as they hung out on the roof of the Scott Building and enjoyed the cool breeze. Corn Hole was the game of the night, as team after team worked to win the prize. There were also those who just relaxed and enjoyed drinks, snacks and conversation. What’s next? Be sure to join FOSH for Saloon Night at the Home on Tuesday, Sept. 3, as local talent Herb Scott supplies jazz with his fabulous saxophone. To volunteer, write Lori Lincoln at volunteerfriendsofsoldiers(at)gmail(dot)com.

Photos and words courtesy of Liz Cocke.