Veterans Club Web Site History Section
We welcome all Anthem residents who are veterans as well as their families and friends who want to share their national pride. Our official purpose is to honor the stature and ideals of all Military Service Members and Veterans. We also promote activities and programs in support of our members. Our monthly meetings on the second Tuesday evening of every month feature speakers with distinguished military careers and unique experiences in our armed services from World War II to Vietnam and Iraq. In addition, many served during the long—but mostly forgotten-- Cold War, which all of us lived through, in dangerous spy missions, U-2 spy flights over Communist countries, astronauts on space flights, advanced weapons technology and development, and veteran services. This whole era of U.S.-Soviet Union confrontation was best celebrated by Ian Fleming’s James Bond Agent 007 dashing character in novels and movies. We have had the “real James Bonds” who are Anthem residents today as our guest speakers. We are always amazed to discover the veteran heroes and neighbors living right here in our community. In recent years, our speakers have included retired generals, admirals, prisoners of war, and medal winners for heroism (see our Past Meetings page). We have over 400 members today and some 100 usually attend the monthly lectures in Anthem Center. It’s a great opportunity to share “old war stories” with comrades who have had similar experiences in the armed services. We have come a long way since the Veterans Club began in the Fall of 2008 as an idea by just a few dedicated veterans who had two key objectives: (1) to start a Veterans Special Interest Group and (2) to erect a Memorial Plaque honoring Anthem veterans. Women are always welcome as veterans or wives of veterans—even those who have passed away. One of the driving forces in the early days was Col. Herbert Blum (retired Medical Corps). He was joined by Davis Leonard, who became the first President, and was honored by the Club over the years as an aviation hero in World War ii who received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the French Legion of Honor. Other Anthem leaders who helped to start the Club were: Wendell Jones, Steve McCarthy, Robert Burch, Asa Moore, Tim Forrest, Wanda George, and Ms. Sidney Ingram. The Club has met all of their expectations and plans in the past seven years. The Memorial Plaque has continued to grow to the point that there were 502 name plates when it was officially dedicated on November 11, 2008. A second plaque was added for 350 names and then a third plaque. They are located on the Veterans Memorial Wall at the end of the hallway left of the main entrance to Anthem Center. A lot of the recent growth in membership and programming can be credited to former President Bill Campbell. His leadership added passion and enthusiasm to our meetings. He still continues as an advisor to the Board of Directors. Herb Solomon, who was elected President in 2015, created and directed a Color Guard consisting of members from every branch of the services, who all wear official uniforms and carry their distinctive individual flags. Herb sadly passed away at the end of the year. He was sincerely devoted to the Color Guard and the Club. He is greatly missed by the Board of Directors and Club members who appreciated his tireless dedication to all of our programs during the year—even long before he was elected President. The Board of Directors approved the naming of Art Lindberg, our Vice President at the time, as the Club’s new President for 2016. He brings many years of leadership to the Club as a retired US Navy Officer (Lt. Commander) and top executive in a prominent New Jersey electric utility company. With his proactive management style, he has extensive plans for the future to increase the Club’s impact and image in the Anthem community. One key objective as we continue to grow is to get more members to be active in Club activities—not just the Board of Directors. New members can join for $10 a year and will see their names on the plaques within a few weeks. A major source of revenue for the Veterans Club is the annual Ice Cream Social in the first week of August when 500 guests attend the event to eat all of the ice cream that they want for $5 per person. All of the funds collected by the Club are used to support our veterans and their families through organizations such as the USO, VFW, Blue Star and Gold Star Mothers, and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Join us soon at a meeting on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 PM.