CATONSVILLE, MD---"They're back. They're alive. And they deserve at least a warm welcome and a handshake."
The words of Suzanne Levitt of Charlestown retirement community express why a contingent of her fellow residents take time every month to greet incoming military service men and women and their families at BWI-Thurgood Marshal Airport.
The residents of the Erickson Living retirement community support the Maryland chapter of Operation Welcome Home, a volunteer organization dedicated to giving military personnel the welcome home they deserve. Their most recent trip was on September 25th.
Held at the international terminal of BWI, the volunteers decorate the arrival area with patriotic signs and provide goodie bags filled with snacks and water to the returning troops, most of whom are catching a connecting flight.
Entering the pavilion, the soldiers are greeted with rousing cheers and applause as they walk through a sea of red, white and blue in the parade line.
"It is an honor to be associated with Operation Welcome Home," stated Ms. Levitt. "We have to remember that these brave men and women volunteered for this service and most of them have been overseas for multiple tours of duty, separated from their families. They are protecting us 24/7 in hostile areas, and greeting them at the airport is just a small way to show our pride in what they do for us."
"There's nothing like seeing their smiles and shaking their hands as they return to American soil," described Ms. Levitt. "Our troops are the best of the best."
For more information about volunteer opportunities, please visit www.operationwelcomehomemd.org or call 410-630-1555.
About Charlestown: Charlestown, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment. Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits. A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. For more information, please visit www.ericksonliving.com.