What does it mean to “serve”?

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What does it mean to “serve”?
by Paula Settle

Service to me, is when I do something for a friend or even someone I don’t know, who deserves to be honored, without me receiving anything in return.

I recently had an opportunity to serve and honor a few of the men and women who have served me and my country through their service in the United States military.

That happened on April 14, 2023. It was one of the most meaningful days in my life, aside from my wedding day and the birth dates of my three daughters.

You see, on April 14, 2023, I had the blessing of experiencing an event I had been organizing and praying about for at least 2 months.

I volunteer and work with Villages OKC, a non-profit organization that helps Seniors, aged 50 plus, learn to navigate their senior years through learning, planning and serving. Villages OKC is also one of the sponsors of the Vietnam Veteran Pinning that was held at the Oklahoma History Center earlier this year.

It was thought by the Villages OKC staff, that there had to be some veterans in the metro area that lived in low-income housing centers, assisted living communities, etc., that had not been able to attend the pinning at the Oklahoma History Center, either due to not owning a vehicle, no family support or other various reasons.

It was from that thought, that I was passed the torch to organize and bring about Honor One on One, a pinning for Oklahoma military veterans, who had not been able to attend the pinning at the Oklahoma History Center.

Superbia Retirement Village was suggested and that became my first location for a pinning of such veterans.

It was a long and meaningful process that required the help of many other hands to accomplish what was to become what I call the “Best Day Ever!”

With the help of Southern Nazarene College’s Veterans Center, I was able to round up a brass quintet called Southern Brass to play the National Anthem, a chaplain for the Invocation and the Choctaw Nation Honor Guard for the flag presentation.

The honored veterans were also blessed that day to have a retired Army Sergeant for the Opening Remarks, a retired Air Force Brigadier General to pin the veterans, a retired Army Special Forces Sergeant Major, to present the caps and two retired Army Lt. Colonels to present the beautiful Service Coins.

Eleven veterans, nine men and two women, were pinned that day at Superbia Retirement Village in Oklahoma City. I was elated by the look of joy on the veteran’s faces as they were remembered, honored and appreciated.

A special treat was enjoyed afterward by way of a coffee service reception, provided by Black Rifle Coffee of North Oklahoma City, a veteran owned coffee store and company, and cookies donated by Sam’s Club.

The eleven veterans were blessed by each of the retired military officers, who went from table to table, sharing coffee and cookies and just plain talking to these forgotten veterans about each of their lives. The retired officers showed a sincere interest in each honored veteran and how they had once served not only their country, but also all of us who were here at home benefitting from that service.

I have never been so moved by an event I have been involved with. I am so grateful that God chose me to help organize this event to honor and respect these precious men and women, who thought no one knew of or appreciated their sacrifices.

What’s next? A search for another location, housing more veterans, that need to be loved, honored and respected, and I get the blessing of organizing it…


1 Comments for : What does it mean to “serve”?
    • Paul Moore
    • June 5, 2023


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