“What would we do without you? Your dedication and willingness to serve are inspirational. Thank you so much!!”
This weekend, veterans at a local hospital will get notes like this from strangers, thanks to a few Lititz-area women. Donna Girvin collected letters at the recent Lititz Walk for Wounded Warriors as a way to give back to veterans.
Girvin has several veterans in her life. Her father, William Miller Sr., was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II. Her husband, Thomas Girvin, served in Vietnam and a childhood friend, Eric Ream, died in Vietnam.
When the Girvins go to area veterans medical centers for her husband’s illness, Donna Girvin noticed how many men didn’t have visitors. She wanted to give them something.
So last year she posted notes on the windows of Clemintines, a women’s fashion boutique she owns in Lititz during the popular walk. People wrote notes of thanks and encouragement. However, it rained and the notes were ruined.
This year, she collected even more notes from dozens of people.
“We had people who signed little notes that were in tears because it reminded them of someone,” she said. “It was really, really wonderful and emotional.”
Volunteers with the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 1463 in Lititz Springs picked up the notes, placed them in envelopes and took them to Southeastern Veterans Center in Spring City. The veterans there often stay in the hospital for long periods and the notes are appreciated, said Susan Ellis, auxiliary secretary.
“Some of them don’t have family nearby or they don’t get visitors,” she said. “These men and women did something for their country that some of us didn’t do and they should be recognized for their service.”