Category Archives: Events

Remembering friends

Just this week, I learned of the passing of Tom Bortvit, former resident and owner of Jigglin’ George, Too in Branson, Missouri.
Tom and his wife Becky were for many years very generous supporters of The Branson Veterans Day Room. Whenever we would visit their store during the year they were always excited for us to see the new arrivals of patriotic items, saying “don’t forget to come back before Veterans Week, we’ll have some stuff for you”. And when we did, we left their store laden down with wonderful donations for our drawing. We never left without a personal “Thank You” from them, for our effort in the Day Room. And even though we always let them know how much we appreciated them, I’m not sure they ever really realized what an impact they had in the Day Room. Jigglin’ George, Too is now closed and Becky no longer lives in the area. They both had such loving hearts for our Veterans and we will miss them both.  Rest well Tom…… We’ll see you later!

Three Generations of Veterans

Chip Milner US Air Force 1955 - 1977

Chip Milner
US Air Force 1955 – 1977

Chip is so Excited!  When we return to Branson for Veterans Week this year we will be so proud to have with , us his daughter Karen, an Army veteran and grand daughter Gianna, who is currently serving in the Air Force.  We’re making plans for the Rose Petal Ceremony, and of course an elegant evening at the POW/MIA Gala.


Gianna Simplicio  US Air Force - age 19

Gianna Simplicio
US Air Force – age 19

Karen Milner  US Army  - age 18

Karen Milner
US Army – age 18

Eddie Beesley

Young patriots from Trinity Christian Academy came to serve cookies to our Vets

Young patriots from Trinity Christian Academy came to serve cookies to our Vets

Without exception, if you have ever been to the Day Room, you’ve met Eddie Beesley.   We met Eddie and Connie in 2005 when we were volunteers for the Welcome Home to Vietnam Veterans. Eddie had already written is book “Lucky Enough” and his mission then is as it is now; to minister and offer encouragement  to those wounded warriors that find themselves feeling hopeless and helpless in their new  situation.

During Veterans Week last year, many of you will remember that Eddie performed a song he wrote about his journey through some of those same feelings, when God sent him his “California Angel”.  On Veterans Day at the Oak Ridge Boys Show, Soldiers Wish, partnering with  the American Legion, and the Oak Ridge Boys, granted Eddie’s wish to record “California Angel”.

Just this month we received our signed copy of California Angel, as well a DVD of  the Eddie Beesley Wish.  Join us in wishing Eddie great success with this release.   You can contact Eddie at  (This is not a link, just cut and paste to you browser.) 

Sneak Preview

Mosaic Guitar

Mosaic Guitar

It’s nearly finished!  The plan is to donate it to the Big Drawing at the Day Room this November.  Breaking up perfectly good glass into little bitty pieces to glue onto an electric guitar base has been an education.

Hope you like it as much as I do!

Quilts of Valor

What a wonderful blessing we receive today!  As “the season” winds down here at Palm Creek, we have received six beautiful lap Quilts of Valor to be passed along to some well deserving veterans at the Branson Veterans Day Room.

The Palm Creek Quilters, is made up of about 200 quilters from all over the United States and Canada, who gather here at Palm Creek for the winter months.  This year, 25 gorgeous quilts have found their way to ouQuilts of Valorr veterans here at Palm Creek and the VA hospital in Tucson, and now to our Day Room in Branson.  Thank You Joyce Owen and Peg Keenan for making this possible.

God welcomes home two faithful servants

Our hearts are heavy in realizing the loss of two very faithful friends of the Branson Veterans Day Room.  Harold and Nancy Parisot lived their lives in the love of God and Country and Veterans.     They were the victims of a fatal crash on Highway 65  March 12th, 2015.

According to authorities, Harold was driving a minivan eastbound on West Outer Road  between the Oak Ridge Boys and Yakov Theaters, when the vehicle continued eastbound, drove off a bluff ad landed on Highway 65.

Emergency personnel closed the southbound traffic lane for nearly two hours working the scene of the crash.  Although Harold  was pronounced dead at the  scene  Nancy was airlifted to a Springfield hospital for serious injuries.  She passed away over the weekend.   It is suspected that a medical emergency caused the crash.

Pictured here is Nancy, on the right, with Amy Haugh as they volunteered in the Day Room Kitchen.  Harold was hard to catch for a picture.  We will miss them both,

Angels in disguise.

Angels in disguise.


Saying Goodbye

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe just received the following message from our friends Dayle and Tom Goldsworthy of Branson:

“For all women veterans that knew Emma Pogge from Lawrence Kansas she passed away today at the age of 102. For the last decade Emma attended the Branson Women Vetersn’s events during veterans week. She was a joy to be with along with her husband and daughter. She served during WWII and would bring her military photo albums for all to see and she had stories. She served I believe over ten years.  We will miss her so much.

If any of you donate to the Women’s Memorial think about doing it in Emma’s memory this year. It would have made her so happy.”

We loved seeing Emma every year.  She was a faithful visitor in the Day Room. My favorite memory of her was a few years back when our harmonica player played “You Are My Sunshine” as Emma sang every word.  Rest well Emma, we will all miss you.



Plans are being finalized!

Final plans are being tweaked and activities are falling into place for the  arrival of those who return year after year to Branson for one of the largest Veterans Gathering, in the nation.  The Day Room and Branson Veterans Task Force’s Vendor Village will be at what we know as the   “Red Roof Mall”, in Building 12.  Be sure to check the Schedule of Events page on this site to see some of what is being planned for the week.

Chip’s bringing a friend.   We cant wait to see you all again.Chip and Teddy

Tribute to Dave Buettner

Dave Buettner with Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys

Dave Buettner with Joe Bonsall of the Oak Ridge Boys

Last year just about the time Veterans Week was ending we were saddened to learned that Dave Buettner reached the end of his journey here on earth. Dave was a faithful participant in the jam sessions in the Day Room since the very beginning.   He was a warm and gentle person who left each of us loving him as well as his wonderful God given talent of playing the harmonica.

Rest well faithful soldier;  until we meet again.

Honorable Mention

Through the years, we have been blessed to have wonderful hard working volunteers. Last  November was no exception, and we’d like to tell you about just a few.

Brian & Amy

Brian & Amy

Amy and Brian Hauge of Ridgeway, and Nancy and Harold Parisot, of Branson  were among those who came each day to sweep, empty trash, pop popcorn, make coffee, tea, and serve all those wonderful snacks.  It was a year when we were a bit short handed; and their energy, attitude and dedication in serving our veterans was awesome.



Carol and Ken Slawson

Carol and Ken Slawson

Carol and Ken Slawson, as representatives of their church brought and entire day of snacks and beverages for our Day Room Veterans.  How fortunate we all were that their church considered the Day Room worthy of  such support.




One of our AmeriCorps Team

The team members of the AmeriCorps Volunteers were absolutely vital to getting our room ready last November.  Their spirit, their energy,  and their attitude of appreciation at being able to serve our Veterans left us all feeling the blessings of their presence.