By Rocio Palmero, program coordinator
Silver-haired women in a church recreation room on a Saturday night… the sound of letter-number combinations being called in the distance. . . B4. . .N14. . .O21. . .Bingo!
While that might be the image that comes to mind for the game Bingo, it’s NOT what you’d have witnessed for our first WVOP Bingo Night on April 29th!
We desperately need companionship, laughter, and community as we glide on the tail end of this pandemic. Though we see venues, movie theatres, restaurants and other businesses opening, many of us may not be ready to jump right into the life we remember from what seems like a distant and imaginary past. Virtual bingo provided a free, safe, and fun alternative for those of us looking for the opportunity to hang out with like-minded women.
We welcomed back returning participants while learning the names of new faces. We had ice breakers, introductions, and warm-up rounds. There were winners who will be receiving U.S.VETS swag in the mail, and winners who were content with being able to yell out “BINGO!” before everyone else. We shared stories of favorite games played when out in the field or on 12-hour shifts, with one veteran introducing us to a new game called “eating Chinese food on watch”.
But most of all, we laughed. We laughed with an unspoken understanding. We laughed knowing that we are in a safe environment. We laughed while enjoying each other’s virtual company, the company of fellow veteran sisters who are distinct members of an exclusive club.