Thanking our Veterans: Meet Lee Donald

November 11, 2017

Iona’s Wellness & Arts Center welcomes participants from incredibly vibrant and diverse backgrounds – including many Veterans. With deep gratitude and respect, we honor them today.

Just one of the many Veterans who share their talents and joys with us in the Wellness & Arts Center is Lee Donald. Lee served in the U.S. army for about three years, beginning in 1965.

In honor of Veterans Day, we asked Lee if he had any thoughts to share about his service. Here is what he said:

Leaving behind his mother and two brothers, Lee was deployed in Vietnam for a year. Today, Lee describes his time in Vietnam as a very stressful time in his life. But Lee always likes to look on the bright side (and continues to do so in the Wellness & Arts Center). Despite constant fears of airstrike, Lee found ways to relax and unwind, including playing his harmonica, specifically some of his favorite Juke tunes, praying, and talking with his friends in the same unit. When Lee returned home from Vietnam, he celebrated all week with friends and family. Lee also started a part-time job a General Electrics while he was taking classes.

Though a difficult time in his life, Lee did take away some important life lessons. He says we all need to take care of each other and have one another’s back. Additionally, his experiences taught him to appreciate every day because you never know what’s going to happen.

Today, anyone who spends time with Lee can easily see that these two life lessons remain with him. He is a wonderful source of light and joy in the Wellness & Arts Center, and he continues to share his musical talents with us (take a look at Lee playing the harmonica in our program below). We thank you for your service, and for being a welcome part of our Iona family!