How do we begin to tell you how it felt as we took phone call after phone call, email after email, when we first joined the B&B for Vets project which aspired to have inns across American give just one room on one night to Veterans, active and retired, on the eve of the Veterans’ Day holiday? The concept, the absolute rightness of us inspired us to be a bigger part of the whole, and so true to ourselves, we gave away every room in our inn to this endeavor. Our waiting list grew, and grew. A few other inns in Savannah joined us, and soon we got the courage to ask restaurants in our downtown historic community to join us in preparing a thank you reception for our now 30 veterans and their significant other. The response was, well, simply heartwarming. The gratitude of this cross section of America’s warriors humbled us.
We offered our inn as the site for the reception and spent all afternoon putting up lights for the backyard, setting out chairs, fixin’ food, and arranging the presentations from Olde Pink House, Sapphire Grill, Leocci’s Trattoria, Cape Creative Catering, Bistro 45, Alligator Soul, and Barnes Restaurants; icing white wines and Prosecco, mixing pitchers of Mimosas, checking in our Veterans. Several dear friends dropped off wine, and one special couple, Lt. Col. Carl H. Oelschig, USA/Retired and wife, Elizabeth, sent our Vets this beautiful centerpiece! With the help of three other innkeepers, we served drinks, ladled savory Alligator Soul gumbo into mugs, replenished trays of Bistro 45’s carpaccio, Leocci’s artichoke and pepper bruchetta and arugula and antipasto trays, as well as Cynthia Creighton-Jones’ pasta salad. We were interviewed by WJCL’s Lindsay as we juggled trays and requests and stacks of Sapphire Grill’s secret secret recipe chocolate chip-oatmeal pecan cookies, which are to die for. Originally intended to end at 7:30, the guests lingered, nibbled, laughed uproariously, shared their differing tales of military life and branches of service. We cleaned contentedly, knowing we had done well.Breakfast was graciously received and delightfully devoured. Chatter and laughter rang the house. Stories exchanged. Good-byes given. Hugs, thank yous, hugs, tears.
Dear dad, thank you for giving your daughter a deeply instilled respect for our fighting men and women. Thank you for raising me to work hard and give back. All I have left are your medals and your memories, your deep abiding devotion to your country. It is a gift.
Active duty and Retired Military please join us any day of any year knowing we honor your service. Enjoy our home and the hospitality Azalea Inn and Gardens Bed and Breakfast, a Savannah GA bed and breakfast, and savor all that the Historic District of Savannah has to offer.