Daughters of the American Revolution honor dedicated residents for community service

The John Bartram Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently honored two local residents for their work in the community.

Genealogy researcher Beth Braun, left, and Diane Starr, chair of the John Bartram Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Community Service Committee.

Villager Beth Braun received the organization’s Community Service Award for her tireless effort to collect photos of Vietnam veterans. Braun provided genealogy research to help the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1036 in The Villages in its successful quest to find 777 missing pictures from the total of 1,957 Floridians killed in Vietnam.

The effort was part of a national initiative by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to create the “Wall of Faces,” an online project that will show photos of every Vietnam veteran whose names appears on the monument dedicated to them in Washington D.C.

Braun spent time traveling throughout the state, researching high school yearbooks and reaching out to families of the deceased. And since the effort to locate photos of the Florida veterans was so successful, she has turned her attention to collecting photos in Georgia and other East Coast states.

Pastor David Houck, of SoZo Kids, and DAR Regent-Elect Sandra Purcell.

DAR members also were honored to have Pastor David Houck, of the SoZo Kids, address them. He discussed the many hardships and successes of working with children who live in the Ocala National Forest.

Houck, who grew up in the forest under difficult conditions, has been helping children in those same conditions for more than 25 years through the non-profit Help Agency, SoZo Kids and Salt Life Church.

Houck said his group is now the proud owner of a dental van that is equipped with supplies and instruments to provide much-needed services to the children. He was thankful to leave the meeting with many jars of peanut butter, toothpaste and toothbrushes from the membership. And he said the peanut butter will provide a good source of protein for the children.