Veterans: Come have your photo taken!

By Janet Ditmore

A few months ago, a project was started that is aimed at giving recognition to the men and women of Sun City Center who have served in any of our armed services, in any capacity.

Spearheaded by Bill Hodges, the goal of the project is to take a photo of every veteran who is a resident of SCC in recognition of his or her service to this country. This is not an easy task, since so many of the veterans do not feel that they deserve such recognition, especially if they did not serve in combat.

But, as Bill Hodges notes, “Each veteran is valuable in their own way, and this includes those in the reserves.”  Sometimes it was merely a case of time or place that determined the involvement of the individual.  “For example,” says Bill, “someone in the reserves today would probably be called upon to have duty in Afghanistan—maybe multiple times.”

When an individual signed those papers that committed him or her to one of the services, they were willing to commit themselves to whatever service might be demanded.  The fact that circumstances may not have called upon them to serve under fire does not diminish their courage.  For this reason, it is important that ALL veterans, who served in ANY capacity, be recognized.

Hodges reports that 184 veterans have had their photos taken to date.  Others have signed up. To be placed on the list to have a photo taken, with the emblem of the appropriate service branch, call the Community Association offices and ask to be added to the list for the Veterans’ Project.

Photographer Andy LeDoux uses the facilities of the SCC Photo Club to take the portraits.  Photos have been published on the video screen in the Atrium and prior to Community Association general meetings for the awareness of residents.

“Andy deserves so much credit for this project,” Hodges said, “He’s been wonderful, really done a yeoman’s job. I’ve been talking about this project for about five years now, and I’d probably still just be talking about it if Andy hadn’t volunteered to shoot and edit the photos.”

While, typically, the photographs require a reservation with the CA office, Hodges and Ledoux will be on hand Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for an open photo session. This session will take place in the new Photo Club building on Pebble Beach beside Samaritans. Look for a sign in the yard. Any veteran member of the Community Association may come by and have his or her photo taken. Please wear at least a collared shirt. Dress clothes or uniforms accepted.

For anyone wishing to view the photos, Hodges said they will be playing up on the big screen in the Atrium through May 10 and again on Memorial Day.

This is an on-going project and it is hoped that EVERY veteran in SCC will take part in the project. As new veterans move into the community, they will be added to the list.

If you know any veterans who have not taken part in this important project, please urge them to do so. We all would like to recognize their willingness to serve and this is a way to show our gratitude.