By Kathy L. Collins

To honor the military veterans who reside at The Bridges Retirement Community in Riverview, the staff and administration produced a calendar for 2013 which salutes their service. The calendar features 16 veterans who currently reside at The Bridges. Each month highlights one or two veterans and gives an interesting and informative look into their lives and service.

The calendar idea was conceived by Kandi Ochampaugh, The Bridges’ Director of Activities. The calendar was presented to the residents at a special Veteran’s Day luncheon held in November. It was then distributed to the participating veterans and their family members along with fellow residents and employees. The calendars are not available to the general public.

“The calendar was a wonderful way to recognize our dedicated veterans for their outstanding service to our country,” said Donna Steiermann, The Bridges’ Executive Director. Ochampaugh added, “The calendar project was a heartfelt endeavor. It was an opportunity for The Bridges to show appreciation and admiration to those residents that have made sacrifices in their lives for our country.”

While most of the 16 residents served during WWII, several served in the wars in Korea and Vietnam. The stories in the calendar run from focus on the war and the veteran’s individual service such as Theodore Dmetroshko who served in both Korea and Vietnam to the one about Lyndon and Joyce Creager who fell in love while serving in Pearl Harbor.

The calendar project was well received by the residents. Janet Noah, Community Relations Liaison for The Bridges said, “Families were very proud of their loved ones’ accomplishments serving our country, many during wartime. The veterans were delighted to participate in the project and to share their personal accounts of serving in the armed forces.”

The Bridges is a retirement community with assisted living and memory care residents. Noah added, “The leadership at The Bridges believes in giving back to the community in which we live and work. We have developed partnerships with the Greater Brandon Community Foundation, LifePath Hospice, the Campo Family YMCA’s Silver Sneakers programs, The Alzheimer’s Association, the Brandon Outreach Clinic and ECHO.”

For more information on The Bridges, please visit


Previous articleBrandon Library Gets Six New Parking Spaces With Upcoming Improvement
Next articleKeeping Our Skies Bullet Free