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1932 Buddy Poppy Girl Returns to National Home

Betty Adamson at 2023 Indiana Day

Betty Christian Adamson still sported her bob, much like the cropped hair in the photo where she handed President Herbert Hoover the first poppy of the year in 1932. Now it’s silver, but the spring in her step remains.

Ninety-five-year-old Adamson visited the VFW National Home on September 23 to take part in Indiana Day alongside VFW and Auxiliaries from her home state.

Adamson was one of the first group of children who came to live in the Home not long after it was established in 1925. In 1929 Adamson’s father, a World War I veteran, passed away, and she and her two siblings were placed in the VFW National Home by her mother, who was unable to care for them. The siblings would live there for the next 12 years.

1932 Buddy Poppy Child Betty Adamson

“I liked living at the Home. There were lots of other children to play with, and the Home did everything for us,” she recalled.

She recounted playing often on the playground, helping her house mother with chores, going to the Methodist Church on Sunday, and enjoying the abundant Cootie Christmases.

“I had two different housemothers during my time there, and they both were wonderful, affectionate, and good cooks,” she added with a smile.

Adamson was only four years old when she was selected as the 1932 Buddy Poppy Girl. Her memories are scant about the trip to Washington, D.C., to entertain an audience with the President of the United States.

1932 Buddy Poppy Child Betty Adamson with 2023 Buddy Poppy Child Layla

“I remember more about the long train ride there,” she chuckles. “Mr. Adams, the National Home Director at the time, was trying to keep me occupied by teasing that there was a bear out of the window of the train.”

Adamson and her siblings left the Home when she was 14 returning to their mother, who had remarried. The former Buddy Poppy Girl enjoyed a happy childhood at the VFW National Home and, as a result, went on to live a full and stable life, married for over 50 years until the death of her husband and raising four children who had 15 children of their own, and 30 great-grandchildren.

“I am so thankful to the VFW National Home,” expressed Adamson.

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