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'Back together again': East Texas woodworker crafts special letters for senior living facility, restoring 'Wall of Honor'

Tue, 30 Nov 2021 03:46:00

A newspaper article brought together a senior community and East Texas nonprofit organization to honor veterans.

The Hamptons Senior Living resident Louise Jackson, of Central Texas, saw an article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph about woodworkers building and donating ladders for bunk beds at East Texas Crisis Center, and said she got an idea.

“You know, just maybe, they can fix an ‘O’ for us that would match what we need,” she thought. The O’s the residents needed weren’t just any O’s. The letters were part of something significant -- a dedicated veterans wall at the Tyler senior living community.

The "Wall of Honor" was incomplete. Residents passed by the titled wall in the cafeteria and saw it daily as they waited for their lunch, feeling a void as it was missing two 'O' letters for several months. Beneath the words, photos fill the wall of each veteran resident at the senior community holding a photo of when they were young.

“We looked and tried to replace it, but it was out of date and they didn’t have that kind (of style) anymore,” Jackson said.

Even after searching for several months, an identical style of ‘O’ that matched the rest of the letters seemed like it would never be found. That’s when Jackson saw the article and took action.

“I took a picture of the wall and emailed it to the woodworker’s website and said, ‘Would there be somebody that might be interested in doing this,’” Jackson said.

Worth Holmes, with the Woodworkers of East Texas, said he would and ended up donating both O’s to the senior living community.

“I was just so grateful. He did such a wonderful job. I’m just so pleased with the kindness of this organization,” Jackson said.

She said crafting the O’s was not an easy task.

“It was not easy. Worth couldn’t just cut an ‘O.’ You had to slope it and you had to shape it, and he did a fantastically skilled job. It took time; it wasn’t an easy thing. It may sound easy, but it wasn’t. It took a skilled one,” she said.

Jackson, who has had a family relative fight in every war since the Revolution in 1775, said her family has a long tradition of military service, so she wanted to fix the wall for her fellow residents.

“It looked so incomplete… it just didn’t look right,” she described.

When the wall was complete, Jackson said it made all the residents feel better.

“Every day when they came in, they sat in the dining room and they looked at that incomplete label up there over those fine men that gave so much to our country. It looks so good to see all of it back together again. It’s just a sense of closure,” Jackson said.

She thanked the organization and Holmes for the goodness of their hearts and community service.

“I live in a good place. We honor our veterans, we’re grateful for their service,” Jackson said.


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