Loretta Whetstone, right, prepares Valentine’s Day goody bags for veterans with the help of another library employee. | Alison James

Archived Story

Veterans to benefit from library programs

Published 11:44am Friday, February 8, 2013

The Adelia M. Russell Library tries to offer something for everyone, and thanks to Loretta Whetstone, it also offers something for veterans.

For the past five years, the first Thursday of every month, the library has offered a program for residents of the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home.

“I serve them snacks, we watch a movie, and I’m going to try to get a Bingo set,” Whetstone said. “They love to play Bingo, so I’m going to try to go online and get one so they can do that, and I’ll give out prizes.”

Whetstone, library technician for 24 years, said the program grew out of a realization that the library needed to offer more events for the community. The veterans were a faithful part of a group that came to the library to hear guest speakers, so Whetstone said they wanted to offer a program just for them.

“It’s fun,” Whetstone said. “It gives them something to do.”

For February, veterans received Valentine’s Day goody bags and were treated to angel food cake, strawberries and cheese puffs, as well as coffee, soda and water.

“I have the utmost respect for all veterans because if it wasn’t for them, where would we be?” Whetstone said. “I think they are the sweetest people, and the caretakers that come with them are so nice … I get enjoyment out of doing it.”

Typically Whetstone shows a movie – for February the choice was Vegas Vacation with Chevy Chase. Whetstone said she tries to lean toward funny movies or Westerns.

“I don’t want to show them anything that’s depressing or brings back bad memories,” Whetstone said. “Some of them will just sit and watch that movie and laugh and laugh … They enjoy it.”

Veterans get to enjoy the library program for about two hours, and Whetstone said she tries to cater to their needs and wants.

“Whatever they want I try to provide for them because they’re so sweet,” Whetstone said. “It’s rewarding to me, to give them some attention … I enjoy them coming.”