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Facebook Posts Bring New Meaning to Veterans Day for Austin-Area Seniors Sharing Triumph and Tragedy through Storytelling Project, “These Eyes Have Seen”

Facebook Posts Bring New Meaning to Veterans Day for Austin-Area Seniors Sharing Triumph and Tragedy through Storytelling Project, “These Eyes Have Seen”

WWII veterans whose stories have gone viral on social media to be honored in a special ceremony on Veteran’s Day

AUSTIN, TX (October 28, 2015) –They range in age from 69 to 93 years, and until recently had not fully embraced social media. But earlier this year, seven veterans, who call two Austin area retirement communities their home, shared some of their life stories and wartime experiences on “These Eyes Have Seen,” a social media-based project that celebrates elders through documenting their stories to provide joy, inspiration and guidance to people everywhere. The short stories are accompanied by visually stunning photographs that capture not only the essence of the story but of the storytellers themselves.

Now surprised by the response from people near and far, including friends from long ago as well as complete strangers, these honored heroes generously shared poignant moments in their lives to perhaps encourage a new generation to learn what it means to be American.

On Veteran’s Day, Wed., Nov. 11, they and more than 50 other veterans, who live with them at either The Continental or The Clairmont retirement communities in Austin, will be celebrated during special observances and their photos and mementos from their years of service will be displayed on “Walls of Honor.” At The Continental, Jim Mickler, with the Texas Veterans Land Board, will speak and honor the veterans at 11:30am.

“America’s veterans can teach us so much about the true meaning of being an American,” said Candace Scarcliff, Executive Director, of both retirement communities. “We are honored that they chose to call our communities home and that they have shared their experiences serving our country. We look forwarding to acknowledging their sacrifice on Veteran’s Day.”

Sharing Triumph and Tragedy

The “These Eyes Have Seen” project was created by Moon Tide Media for Sunshine Retirement Living, which owns or operates 20 senior living communities in the United States, including The Clairmont and The Continental. During the first phase of the project, which launched publicly in October, more than 36 life stories have been documented, with more planned in future phases.

In Austin, the seven veterans profiled on “These Eyes Have Seen” include:

  • The oldest of the group, 93-year old Lloyd Bailey volunteered to serve in the Army Corps of Engineers in World War II.
  • The youngest at 69 years, Mike Alexander, joined the Air Force at 18.
  • Lorrie Henderson, now age 91, was called to action after seeing a poster for WAVES or Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service.
  • Also 91, Robert Peckham, joined the Navy three days after graduating from high school, serving for 23 years.
  • Raymond Powell, age 90, went oversees at 18 to serve his country, leaving behind his first love, Gerry, now age 87. Their love story began as he left to fight, when he mailed her a letter for the first time with, “Love, Raymond.” For two years, they kept writing love letters and today they have been married for more than 64 years.
  • For 92-year old Hoyt Alford, Facebook didn’t hold much meaning until nearly 2,000 people from around the country commented on his war story on “These Eyes Have Seen.” Raised during the Depression in Alabama, he served in the South Pacific during World War II, and continues to remind his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, honesty above all.
  • Perhaps the most unexpected story belonged to 86-year old Philip Nichols, who raised a brood of baby ducks in Vietnam, only to learn upon return from trip to Saigon, that they became Thanksgiving dinner for the troops.

For more information about “These Eyes Have Seen,” please visit www.theseeyeshaveseen.com, or www.facebook.com/theseeyeshaveseen.

About The Continental and The Clairmont Retirement Communities

The Continental and The Clairmont Retirement Communities are managed by Bend, OR based Sunshine Retirement Living, whose portfolio includes 20 retirement communities in eight states. The Continental is a luxury, all-inclusive active senior community located in South Austin, TX with six, well-appointed, spacious floor plans. The Clairmont, situated in North Austin, is also an all-inclusive senior community with a variety of spacious and affordable floor plans. Each community offers three delicious chef-prepared meals daily, served restaurant-style in the community dining room. Amenities include complimentary transportation, free common area Wi-Fi, weekly housekeeping, and on-call apartment maintenance, on-site hair salon, library, gym and computer center. For more information on The Continental in South Austin, contact (512) 900-4042, email TheContinental@sunshineret.com or visit www.ContinentalRet.com. For more information on The Clairmont in North Austin, contact (512) 851-0872, email at TheClairmont@sunshineret.com or visit www.ClairmontAustin.com.

About Moon Tide Media

Based in Los Angeles, Moon Tide Media is a content marketing company that helps leading brands, organizations and places use content to engage and motivate their audiences. Moon Tide Media creates and distributes stunning content for its partners, helping them take a story-driven approach to achieving their marketing and business objectives. The company, which owns and operates a network of digital channels and lifestyle publications, delivers measurable results by leveraging a variety of marketing and communications channels including social content platforms, branded magazines, web-based video, and live events among others. For more information, visit www.moontidemedia.com.

*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

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