A troupe of female veterans dressed from head-to-toe in World War II-era pin-up costumes brightened Veteran’s Day for patients at the West Los Angeles Veteran Affairs (VA) Medical Center.
The center, one of the largest VA hospitals in the U.S., is part of the government-funded network of housing, utilities, food, and health facilities provided to veterans who need help by the West Los Angeles VA Soldiers Home.
The volunteers, who are all military veterans themselves, were aiming to bring joy to the older retired service members with some nostalgia. They worked with Pin-Ups for Vets, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans and active duty military personnel, KTLA5 reported.
“They answered the call to serve,” one pin-up model told the local outlet. “They fought for our country. There’s no better way to spend Veteran’s Day than giving back to the veteran community.”
“Sometimes a small gesture can back the biggest impact,” said Gina Elise, Pin-Ups for Vets founder.
The women create a yearly pin-up calendar to raise money for veterans struggling with healthcare, and other basic necessities, as well as to get VA hospitals more medical equipment.
“We feature female veterans as the models and we turn them into WWII pin-ups and help them channel their inner bombshell,” Elise explained. “A lot of the veterans and the patients don’t realize that the ladies who are dressed up in 1940s attire are actually veterans. So they are often shocked. It’s just a very special bond, that veteran-to-veteran connection.”
“When we go and visit, I never questioned whether we made a difference that day,” said Jennifer Marshall, a Navy veteran who has volunteered with the nonprofit for the last nine years. “It’s just really nice to connect with them one-on-one.”