[Updated: February 15, 2019 | Published: November 8, 2018]
Pat Dietsch is committed to preserving the experiences of Friendship Village of Dublin’s (FVD) veterans. When you visit the community’s library, you’ll find a collection of stories she created that includes accounts from every resident who served our country.
“I’m convinced it was a God thing — I just had to put it together,” Pat says. “When I moved in, I learned someone started a similar project in the past, but it hadn’t been touched for several years.”
Determined to give back to former service members, Pat began working with FVD staff to identify veterans living in the community. Her goal was to update the book with written stories, insignias and photos every year — making it a living record of veterans’ experiences.
Three years ago, she interviewed her first FVD veteran. Today, the book includes more than 100 people who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
“When a new resident moves in, I always ask if they’re a former service member,” Pat says. “Slowly but surely, I’ve interviewed every veteran, or every widow of a veteran, who’s lived in our community.”
Throughout this process, Pat found many residents were hesitant to discuss their experiences.
“A lot of veterans were nervous to talk about it and be recognized for their service,” Pat says. “I think anybody who served should be proud and deserves to be recognized. It’s a tremendous thing to do.”
Pat has also helped several residents discuss their experiences for the first time — allowing their families to finally understand the depth of their bravery and sacrifice.
“I had someone tell me a bomb was dropped on his tent, missing him by about 100 yards,” she says. “After that, his wife said, ‘Thank you, he never told his children that story, and now they know it.’”
For Pat, her mission to help FVD veterans preserve their stories has been more than a personal passion — it’s been an honor.
“I’m sitting here tearing up just thinking about it,” she says. “It’s been so rewarding to honor their service and bravery.”
About Friendship Village of Dublin
Friendship Village of Dublin is the premier retirement living community in central Ohio — located in Columbus just off Riverside Drive. With a unique blend of Life Care and lifestyle, FVD strives to give residents a “Life in Perfect Balance” that enhances their personal wellbeing. To learn more about our community or schedule a tour, visit our contact page.