• Scarlett Bauman, Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Meet Liz… A Resident Here for 16 Years

“The Air Force was a wonderful life – and Bob Hope Village has been the icing on the cake.”

Soon after graduating from high school, Liz took her first job working at a grocery store. It was there that she had a serendipitous encounter with a young man named Forrest. The two would eventually fall in love and marry.

“One day while I was working, I felt something brushing up against my side. I looked up and there was a handsome guy teasing me with a broom in his hands,” Liz says with a shy smile. “Forrest would always tell our two boys that he swept me off my feet!”

Forrest got drafted into the Army but later enlisted in the Air Force. Liz says, “He always wanted a career in the military and he’d heard that the Air Force was more family-oriented, which turned out to be the case.”

Like many military spouses, Liz knows what it means to uproot her family and make frequent moves here in the U.S. or to military bases around the world. From California and Alaska to Kentucky and even far away Taiwan, her boys had to change schools every few years or so.

“Moving so often was hard on our sons at the time,” explains Liz. “But later in life they both told me it was the best education they could’ve ever received.”

Forrest would later retire from the Air Force as a Technical Sergeant. “During retirement, he became very active with DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and even organized and started a local chapter in our hometown,” Liz tells me. It was through Forrest’s volunteer work with DAV that the couple first learned about Air Force Enlisted Village.

In 1985, Forrest died from heart complications. In 2005, 20 years after the loss of her beloved husband, Liz moved into Bob Hope Village.

“On my first day here, my sons helped me with moving furniture,” recalls Liz. “The very next morning, I woke up and told them both that this place just feels like home.

While Liz lived in many places over the years, the decision to move to AFEV some 16 years ago may have been the best and most life-changing move she ever made.

“So much is done for me here,” says a grateful Liz. “They help me with transportation and making sure I have my medications. If I have a question, they don’t hesitate to find an answer. Everyone is just so caring and gentle.”

Recently, Liz transitioned from Bob Hope Village into Hawthorn House. Moving from independent living to assisted living can be frightening. But it’s usually much easier when residents can make that choice for themselves.

“I made that decision all on my own. My sons were so happy that I was the one who decided to make the move.”

Without AFEV, Liz envisions that her life would be much different. “I would probably be living close to my sisters and brother. I would have to depend on them to take me to the grocery store and to doctor’s appointments since I don’t drive. Living here, I don’t have to worry about any of that now.”

It’s so wonderful that military spouses like Liz can live their lives here at AFEV with dignity and free of worry.

“The Air Force was a wonderful life – and Bob Hope Village has been the icing on the cake,” Liz said while reflecting on her life.

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