Nestled in the San Francisco East Bay hills and Valleys is the City of Oakley ~ a city that is celebrating its 15th year of incorporation as well as local control of its community’s destiny. That includes leasing its Seniors the old city Firehouse and then encouraging them to adopt the newly formed Veterans of Oakley and supporting them to join the Seniors in service to each other as well as the community:
by Allen L Roland, Ph.D
Veterans of Oakley president Randy Smith celebrates with fellow veteran Clint Rehak (Iraq Vet) as they move into and share the Old Oakley Firehouse site with the Oakley Senior Citizens.
Joseph Camacho District Representative from California Senator Mark DeSaulnier’s office, Randy Smith, President Veterans of Oakley, Kevin Romick, City of Oakley Council member, Shirley Darling President of Oakley Senior Citizens and Jennifer Quallick, Field Representative from Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho’s office greeting all the veterans and thanking them for their service to our country.
The driving force of the wedding of these two precious resources was and continues to be Shirley Darling, President of the Oakley Senior Citizens and Randy Smith, U.S Army Veteran and President of Veterans of Oakley.
But Veterans of Oakley is not just dedicated to serving its own veterans but is also dedicated to serving the community as well as other Veteran organizations.
Veterans of Oakley members Emil Ramirez, US Army and Tim Barton, USMC, volunteering and serving coffee and donuts as well as good will to veterans at the Martinez Vets Clinic.
And every Monday morning at 930 AM Veterans of Oakley share coffee together at the Local Black Bear diner (where this whole idea was hatched several months ago) ~ whose proud Manager Jimmy Damico is shown here on the left with a few of these dedicated Veterans, which includes myself.
The heart and soul of this story is Seniors and Veterans working together to make the Oakley community stronger and in the process serving as a model for other communities to emulate their success and dedication to service.
Being in Service is a way of life for the Veterans of Oakley but now it’s service to their community where it once was their country. The nationwide average age of a veteran is 64 years old so this marriage has obvious mutual benefits to both veterans and seniors ~ whose military family ties are both many and varied as to a war and service. This is a win, win for both organizations with the full and enthusiastic blessings of the city of Oakley.
“I’m delighted to work with the Veterans and make a home for both of us” Shirley Darling, President of Oakley Senior Citizens
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr
- U.S Naval Aviator 1957-1964
- Veterans of Oakley, California
Spiritual consultant Allen L Roland can be contacted at [email protected]
Allen is also a lecturer and writer who shares a weekly political and social commentary on his web log and website allenroland.com. He is also a featured columnist on Veterans Today and guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on www.conscioustalk.net