After becoming a CNA and getting hired by a great retirement community, I expanded the Veterans Model Project to focus on my residents who are Veterans. They number about 60 and nearly every week another Veteran moves in. Over the last 6 months I've built models for 7 Veterans ranging from a crew man on a sub tender to the armorer for Gabreski's F-86! The local news paper did a nice article on what became known as the Independence Village Veterans Project. A documentary producer from PBS saw the article and contacted me regarding them doing a feature on the Project. THe corporate office heard about the Project and the 2 head honchos called me in for a chat. Long story short, they were very unhappy about my model building endeavor costing me from my own wallet, so they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. They set me up as an LLC, gave me a hardly ever used craft room on the second floor, told me to buy duplicates of the tools I use at home, submit invoices for EVERYTHING needed from kits to glue as well as an invoice for my hours spent working on the models both in the craft room AND at home!!!!!! They are paying me the same wages I receive as a CNA to build a model for every Veteran who lives there!!!!!!!! To make this even more special for the Veterans/Residents, I get to write up their bio which will be placed in book form in the soon to be completed Veterans Tribute Room along with a photo of them now and back in the day so everyone can put a name to the face. The same bio will also be presented to the Veterans Oral History Project to be submitted to the National Archives in Washington DC.
Now I get to serve and tend to my residents AND honor Veterans at the same time and be compensated for it! I'm still just shocked and thankful beyond words. Corporate also set up a Face Book page for the Project. Please feel free to visit!!!