(Ashburn, Va.) - Nearly 250 residents and family members attended a Veterans Day program at Ashby Ponds retirement community on Monday, November 12. There are currently 175 veterans living at Ashby Ponds, compromising nearly one-quarter of the community's population. The veterans at Ashby Ponds represent a cumulative 1,886 years of service in all branches of the military.
This year, the guest speaker for the Ashby Ponds Veterans Day program was Lt. Gen. John D. Bruen, U.S. Army (Ret.). While serving as an enlisted soldier in the Illinois National Guard, Gen. Bruen entered the Active Army in 1948. He served during both the Vietnam War and the Korean War, and worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant General in 1983. He retired from active duty in 1986, but has remained involved in Department of Defense and industry activities. Gen. Bruen has received a variety of U.S. and foreign honors and awards including, but not limited to, the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (Three Awards), the Bronze Star Medal (Two Awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (Two Awards), the Army Commendation Medal (Two Awards), and the Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown (Belgium). Gen. Bruen spoke of the tremendous commitment required of the spouses and families of servicemen and servicewomen, recalling that he and his family moved 23 times in 29 years while he served in the U.S. Army. He shared some stories from his early years of service, and said "talk to the veterans you know; they have stories to tell."
Monday's Veterans Day program also included the posting of colors by members of the Chantilly Academy Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard, as well as a tribute to the Armed Forced by a fifth grade class from Belmont Station Elementary School. Rev. Matt Sergent, Assistant Pastor at Galilee United Method Church, presided over a memorial service honoring the nation's veterans. "We are grateful for all who have ever served, where in peace time or in conflict," said Rev. Sergent. "Let us join in committing ourselves to action in the causes of justice, peace, and equality in this world as we remember the service and sacrifice of our veterans."
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 700 residents and is filled with fascinating people and fantastic opportunities. With over 100 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options, life at Ashby Ponds offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at: www.ericksonliving.com.