Area veterans spread holiday cheer with annual Christmas concert

Area veterans spread holiday cheer with annual Christmas concert
Area veterans spread holiday cheer (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Veterans at the Thomas E. Creek Community Living Center held their annual Christmas concert for their fellow residents, employees and families.

Area veterans spread holiday cheer with annual Christmas concert

The room was filled with a happy audience, entertained with some jokes before the choir began singing.

The choir consists of around eight members singing Christmas carols and some members even sang solos.

“It just puts them in a place of just recognizing that they have talent and ability to share and we want them to do that,” said Recreation Therapy Assistant Bob Heppner. “I think it builds self-confidence and it has really become a fun time for the residents, as well as staff throughout the VA.”

Outside of rehearsals, this was the choir’s first time singing in front of an audience and they were happy to give back and spread some holiday cheer.

“We look forward to it,” said Heppner. “The residents look forward to it and that makes it really enjoyable for us as well to put it together, to help them express themselves through the music and it’s just a wonderful time of the year to sing these kinds of songs together.”

John Reese, who is a veteran and member of the choir, said he came to the VA hospital on hospice and was told he didn’t have long to live.

Now, ten years later, he says he made it and has been singing in the Christmas choir every year since.

“I fooled them. I fooled myself. And I’m glad I did,” said Reese.

Some say they can hear Reese singing in the hallways throughout the year.

“If you wanna call that singing. I love music and music charms the savage beast.”

Heppner said sometimes residents become sad during the holidays, but their annual Christmas concert is an event that keeps residents spirits up.

“It keeps me from getting depressed and keep a good outlook on life,” said Reese. “He said he wants us to sing loud and proud and smile if we can. I don’t like frowny faces, but that’s what we’re gonna try to do and be a little festive about it and have the holidays here.”

If you would like to know about other events at the Thomas E. Creek Health Care System, click here.

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