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Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek and the Air & Space Forces Association Celebrate Veteran Residents with Medal of Freedom Ceremony and American Heroes: Portraits of Service Gallery Unveiling

To commemorate Veterans Day, Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek proudly celebrated 29 resident veterans who were bestowed with the Air & Space Forces Association (AFA) Medal of Freedom on Friday, November 11th. The ceremony was part of a breakfast held at Belmont Village Senior Living Turtle Creek ahead of the Greater Dallas Veterans Day parade hosted by the AFA Seidel Chapter Dallas. After the breakfast, Belmont Village unveiled its recently updated American Heroes: Portraits of Service, a captivating veteran portrait gallery that memorializes the courage, bravery, and commitment of the veterans who reside at Belmont Village, honoring their exceptional service to this country.

The AFA Veterans Day breakfast was co-hosted and coordinated by Dallas resident and AFA Seidel Chapter President, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. John Campbell. He was joined by several other distinguished military members and Dallas Veterans Day parade participants including Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Gary Litrell, Tony Orlando, and parade keynote speaker CSM (Ret.) Gretchen Evans.

We are so honored to have hosted this special breakfast at Belmont Village Turtle Creek ahead of the Dallas Veterans Day parade and to offer our resident veterans the opportunity to meet and converse with highly decorated military representatives,” says Patricia Will, Founder & CEO of Belmont Village Senior Living. “It’s moving to see our residents recognized for their bravery and service to our country with the Medal of Freedom ceremony and the unveiling of the community’s veteran photo gallery. They are all deserving of our gratitude and recognition of the sacrifices they have made.”

Belmont Village Senior Living’s American Heroes: Portraits of Service is a long-standing photography project at Belmont Village communities capturing the stories and images of veterans in an effort to preserve their legacies. The project first launched in 2008 commissioning photographer Thomas Sanders, and since then, the portfolio of portraits has grown to more than 1,000 photos of Belmont’s resident veterans with more than 30 permanent galleries in Belmont Village communities across the country.

Dino Barela, a Belmont Village Turtle Creek resident, and career military veteran has his portrait exhibited in the photo gallery. Barela served in Vietnam and the Navy as a cryptologist, a language instructor, and worked for the National Security Agency.

“I held every rank from E1 to E9 and was then promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 3. The Navy took me all over the world and I got to circumnavigate Africa twice. Our ship was also the second ship in Naval history to cross the equator, making me a ‘Shellback’,” Barela said. “The Navy gave me the opportunity to grow but it was up to me to take the initiative.”

Belmont Village Senior Living is proud to honor Barela and all his fellow veteran residents by continuing the American Heroes: Portraits of Service project that empowers them to share their stories and legacy of courage with the community and future generations.

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About Belmont Village Senior Living

Founded in Houston in 1997, Belmont Village is an integrated developer, owner, and operator of high-quality seniors housing with more than 4,000 employees. Its 33 locations across the country and in Mexico City, provide award-winning assisted living and memory care programs and ongoing collaborations with Baptist Health South Florida, USC, UCLA, and more to continually improve their cognitive health and evidence-based enrichment programs. Renowned for distinctive design, high standards of life and safety, and reputation for leading edge, quality of care, Belmont Village is certified as a Great Place to Work® and has been ranked as one of FORTUNE Magazine’s 50 Best Workplaces for Aging Services since 2018., LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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