Health center helps Pearl Harbor Day tradition soldier on

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Residents of the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland are treated to brunch at Health Center at Galloway by Absecon VFW Post 9462. Residents of the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland are treated to brunch at Health Center at Galloway by Absecon VFW Post 9462.

GALLOWAY – For many years Absecon VFW Post 9462 has hosted residents from the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Vineland on Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Day.

The venue has always been the Galloway Diner on the White Horse Pike.

But this year the diner is under new ownership. It was recently closed for renovations and only very recently reopened as the Star Diner with some work still incomplete leaving it unable to serve as the site for the annual brunch.

So a friend told a friend and so on until someone heard about the dilemma who took it to heart.

“That was Joann Wegman, director of nutritional services for the Health Center at Galloway,” said Donna Viviano who is activities director at the center. “Joann started the whole idea of having it here.”

The center, the Vineland residents and the Absecon VFW seemed like a good fit, according to Viviano.

“We have about 12-15 residents who are veterans,” Viviano said. “Some of them are attending the event.”

Having the event at the Health Center at Galloway was “fortuitous,” according to Bob Ford, senior vice commander of VFW Post 9462 as well as commander for VFW South Jersey District 16.    

“Our previous venue was not available,” Ford said. “Amazingly, Joann, from the Health Center at Galloway, contacted our Post Service Officer Rudy Giorno about arranging to have other veterans join the resident veterans at the Health Center on Pearl Harbor Day.”

He said the location and having more veterans in attendance was beneficial to all.

“The breakfast event was a rousing success,” Ford said. “No one could have imagined anything better.”

Pam Walker, the center’s administrative nurse manager, sang the national anthem and entertained with mostly patriotic numbers, accompanied by Tyrone Harris.

Further entertainment was provided by children at the center.

Youngsters from the Pediatric Day Health Center located in the same building on Jimmie Leeds Road just east of Chris Gaupp Drive visited with the veterans and sang for them, too.

VFW officers shared a table and watched as the guests from the Vineland home enjoyed themselves.

Seated together were Commander Bob Dunn of Atlantic City, Sr. Vice Commander and District 16 VFW Commander Ford of Galloway, Jr. Vice Commander Joe Maley of Absecon and Judge Advocate Bob Wolfe of Galloway.

Health Center at Galloway administrative nurse manager Pam Walker of Somers Point sings while Tyrone Harris of Atlantic City accompanies her. Health Center at Galloway administrative nurse manager Pam Walker of Somers Point sings while Tyrone Harris of Atlantic City accompanies her.

Absecon VFW Post 9462 officers dine at the Health Center at Galloway. Standing are Junior Vice Commander Joe Maley of Absecon and Commander Bob Dunn of Atlantic City. Seated are Senior r. Vice Commander and District 16 Commander Bob Ford and Judge Advocate Bob Wolfe, both of Galloway. Absecon VFW Post 9462 officers dine at the Health Center at Galloway. Standing are Junior Vice Commander Joe Maley of Absecon and Commander Bob Dunn of Atlantic City. Seated are Senior r. Vice Commander and District 16 Commander Bob Ford and Judge Advocate Bob Wolfe, both of Galloway.

Event principals are from left, Health Center at Galloway administrator Victoria Scott, director of nutritional services Joann Wegman, administrative assistant Trenda Whaley and VFW Post 9462 Service Officer Rudy Giorno. Event principals are from left, Health Center at Galloway administrator Victoria Scott, director of nutritional services Joann Wegman, administrative assistant Trenda Whaley and VFW Post 9462 Service Officer Rudy Giorno.

Room assistants Atiya Bhatti of Absecon, left, and Christine Karnauk of Galloway flank Lt. Col. Rocky Auletto, a nurse manager in the 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group. The three work with children in the Health Center at Galloway. Room assistants Atiya Bhatti of Absecon, left, and Christine Karnauk of Galloway flank Lt. Col. Rocky Auletto, a nurse manager in the 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group. The three work with children in the Health Center at Galloway.

Working with children are from left, room aide Jennifer Hahn of Galloway, preschool teacher Karen Thompson of Dennis Township, nurse Debbie Sciullo of Mays Landing, volunteer Barbara Reynolds of Manahawkin, and room aide Ashley Smith of Brigantine. Working with children are from left, room aide Jennifer Hahn of Galloway, preschool teacher Karen Thompson of Dennis Township, nurse Debbie Sciullo of Mays Landing, volunteer Barbara Reynolds of Manahawkin, and room aide Ashley Smith of Brigantine.


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