As many of you already know, over the past few years on Veterans Day, B&B’s and Inns across the US have offered active and retired veterans free lodging for one night. This was started a few years ago as a grass roots program by an innkeeper in West Virginia that has taken off. 2012 should be a zenith year with PAII taking the lead with listing all participating properties on the ‘Better Way to Stay’ website.
Kristie Rosset, the new Chair of the PAII Board of Directors recently commented on the PAII Forum:
“B&B for Vets, is an ever-evolving process. The BWTS campaign is ever-evolving, with new video recently filmed across North America to highlight the diversity of the B&B experience. Where we are today is not the final product–just like our inns. We keep striving to improve and grow!”
Striving to improve by reaching out and connecting to more and more vets each year, thanking them for their service, one inn at a time, doing what innkeepers do best, providing comfort and service with a smile to those folks who really deserve acknowledgment for their service and sacrifice.
Here is a brief story of one vet The B&B Team is proud to be ‘connected’ with.
“I joined the Air Force in my mid-twenties. I was active duty Air Force from 1984 to 1988 and the Air Force Reserve Component from 1988 to 2007. I was on active duty orders from 2002 to 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, assigned to Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. I was instrumental in the development and implementation of Northern Command and in support of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, pre- during and post landfall. During my time with NORTHCOM, I was responsible for numerous officers; their schedules, travel arrangements, lodging, orders and travel vouchers. During the hurricanes, I was responsible for standing up the command post and the outreach of hundreds of local, state, federal and international personnel. During my military career, I have coordinated hundreds of ceremonies and been responsible for coordinating meetings on the commander’s behalf. Among all the things I did in the military I also got to travel to many places around the world.”
Before I reveal who this ‘mystery’ vet is I would like to share a quote. For those of you who follow my blogs, you know I love quotes!
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heros and she-roes!” Maya Angelou
Well our ‘she-roe’s” name is Donna Pearce, new innkeeper of 15 days of the Admiral Peary Inn in Fryeburg Maine.
After retiring from the Air Force to early 2012, Donna’s story continues.
“One weekend I stayed at an inn in Maine and fell in love. Drove to their broker’s office in Kennebunk and met Rick Wolf. I had him put a letter of intent on the property the next day. After negotiating back and forth, the deal was made. UNTIL, a higher bid with no contingencies (like selling my house in Colorado!) was accepted. I sure was disappointed but could not blame the owners one bit. So Rick started searching for me and working with me on different aspects of owning and operating a bed and breakfast. The consultant extraordinaire that he is taught me a lot in a short time. He discovered a place that had been on the market for quite some time and called me. I saw the Admiral Peary House the first time in March 2012. A mere two months later I passed papers on the property and spent my first night in my new inn! Since then I have had several family members and friends, old and new, help with making the inn mine. We took down wallpaper, ripped up carpet, laid new floor, moved furniture around, painted, and tweaked. On August 1st I was issued my license by the state of Maine to open the Admiral Peary Inn. Oh and I must tell you, it is seven rooms, my own living quarters, HUGE kitchen and guest dining area, two acres of land (great for my VERY dog friendly inn), formal dining room, formal living room, great room, game room, three season porch, two decks and a library and a mile from the Saco River.”
So you think Donna will offer free nights at her B&B for Vets on Veterans Day? You bet. She also offers like many innkeepers, specials for vets throughout the year. We love Donna’s story and wish her the best in her efforts to strive, improve and grow as new innkeeper and ‘she-roe’ at the Admiral Peary Inn.
Thanks for listening