Spreading Joy with the Golden Age Holiday Party

  • Published
  • By Airman Zeeshan Naeem
  • 325 Fighter Wing Public Affairs

In the spirit of giving and gratitude for senior citizen veterans, Tyndall Air Force Base held the 33rd Annual Golden Age Holiday Party Dec. 4, 2023, at the Oasis Sports Lounge.

This event has long been a cherished tradition that brings together all branches of military veterans who served during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War eras from the Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans Nursing Home and Bay County Council on Aging.

“This is a good [opportunity] to experience what the current generation of service members are like,” said Gerald Fimley, a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant and resident of Sims State Nursing Home. “I joined in 1956 when I was 17 and served for 26 years, Tyndall has come a long way since then. I’m grateful for this event for giving me and my friends a chance to visit the base and enjoy ourselves.”

Attendees were treated to a celebration filled with a festive atmosphere, a DJ, refreshments, a dance floor where the veterans could relive moments from the past, raffles that added an element of excitement and an appearance from Santa Claus.

“I’m moved by the effort put in to set up this event for us,” said Dick Madden, a retired service member and resident of Sims State Veterans Nursing Home. “Tyndall showed us how much they value the meaning of joining the ranks and giving your time for service. I’m proud to have served in the U.S. military, it’s something that you have to experience at least once in your life.”

Volunteers from all over Tyndall played a vital role in assisting the 325th Force Support Squadron with serving meals, setting up the venue and escorting attendees.

“Seeing the senior citizen veterans so happy made the Christmas spirit come alive,” explained Airman 1st Class Nicole Pratt, 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron supply central storage journeyman. “I recently lost my grandmother, so being able to spend time with people from a previous generation and give them that joy of dancing or listening to stories of their time in service is something I’m truly grateful for.”

The 33rd Golden Age Holiday Party stands as a testament to resilience, community spirit, the joy that comes from giving back and the enduring legacy of those who have dedicated a portion of their lives in service. The laughter, dancing and sharing of stories created not just a celebration, but a connection between generations. Past and present military members showcased the impact a community can have when it comes together to honor the sacrifice of those who paved the way for the nation’s future.