David and Susan Root know a thing or two about dedication. They have been married for 54 years and have been ardent supporters of the National Home for 15 years. Their commitment to the Home and its mission stems from profound personal experiences throughout their lives.
David served four years in the Navy and made three cruises to Vietnam as an aviation ordnanceman in the Gulf of Tonkin. He is a VFW Gold Legacy Life Member of VFW Post 1079 in Elyria, Ohio, Past State Commander for the VFW Department of Ohio, and a Life Member of the National Home.
“My father, my son and I all served in the United States Navy,” says David. “My grandson is thinking he might do the same. That would be four generations of ‘Root sailors.’ My great grandfather served in the volunteer army during the Civil War and then in the Regular Army during the Indian Wars.
“I was put up for adoption at birth and spent my first five years in foster homes and orphanages before being adopted. It certainly had a long-lasting effect on me. The first time I visited the National Home in 2005, I fell in love with the beautiful campus and the wonderful caring staff. I think it’s very important to keep a family together at all cost and the National Home has the same belief.”
Su is a Life Member of the National Home and a retired accounting clerk whose deep appreciation for the sacrifices of military and veteran families began during David’s deployments in Vietnam.
“As a military spouse during David’s deployments, I understand what it means to have to function back home alone,” recalls Su. “I worried and prayed for him the whole four years. “I knew Navy wives who had children and I watched as they coped with life as a single parent for ten months of the year, struggling to maintain a household and a sense of normalcy for their children. They would have truly appreciated the National Home’s Military and Veteran Family Helpline.”
David and Su still love to visit the National Home campus and they haven’t missed an Ohio Day in 15 years.
“The feeling of being in a safe place is palpable,” says Su. “You can feel it in the air and see it on the faces of children and adults. You just know you are in a place where people really care!”
In 2018-19, when David was VFW Ohio State Commander, he and the Department President named the National Home as their joint project for the year. As a result, caring VFW Posts and Auxiliaries in Ohio raised and donated $30,000, with the net proceeds benefiting the Amy Ross Endowment Fund. A gorgeous statue and plaque were erected in the Tribute Park to commemorate their generosity and love for the National Home.
“Since my first visit, I have been a firm believer in the National Home and I have supported it in many ways,” says David. “I’m a Life Member, I purchased a Tribute Brick for myself and my wife, I make a purchase at the store during every visit, and I donate in some way every year. I want to make sure that others become aware of the Home and all that it does.”