• Scarlett Bauman, Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Because of You, Melba Jean's Prayer has been Answered


An Answer to Her Prayer Just 15 years old at the time, Melba Jean met the man she’d later marry while working at a five-and-dime store in a tiny town in Arkansas. Carl, a senior high school jock, was smitten with the pretty redhead and asked her to come watch his Friday night football games. Years later, the two sweethearts married and raised three children while spending 22 years serving our nation in the U.S. Air Force. During that time, Carl carried out his duty during 16 overseas assignments, with his family always in tow! “There were so many challenges everywhere we moved,” says Melba Jean. On their very first overseas assignment to Morocco, Melba Jean and her husband were so excited to hear that Bob Hope was performing his USO show at the Air Force base. At the end of the show, Melba Jean recalls the actor and comedian shared his dream with the audience… “Bob Hope said he wanted to repay the troops for their service and that he had a dream of a retirement community for those who had served. Of course, we were all young at the time. But we said that when we reach old age, hopefully it will be there for us.” In 2018, after 68 years of marriage, Carl passed away. About a year ago, Melba Jean started looking into retirement communities. A woman of great faith, she began praying that God would guide her to the perfect place where she could live out the final chapter of her life… Indeed, God did answer Melba Jean’s prayers and led her to Hawthorn House at Air Force Enlisted Village — the very place Bob Hope had envisioned so many decades ago! “I’m so excited about this place,” Melba Jean said. “I think it’s the most wonderful thing in the world that someone can do for the military!”


Because of You, Melba Jean's Prayer was Answered If you feel inspired by Melba Jean's story, please click HERE to give to the Air Force Enlisted Village. Your gift will help military widows, like Melba Jean, living at Hawthorn House and Bob Hope Village, so they can have a safe, secure home to live their lives with dignity and free of worry.

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