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By Marty Pay
MBA, CLU, LUTC-F, contributing writer 

Project D.E.F.T. – Don't Ever Forget Them


September 10, 2022

Marty Pay, MBA, CLU, LUTC-F.

We've all had family or friends in a nursing home and for some people it's a wonderful experience with friends, activities and plenty to do.

For many veterans in nursing homes, it can be a rough road. Many of our veterans are alone and have very little contact with the outside world. In many cases family, if there is any left, are far away and the vet is out of sight and out of mind. Project D.E.F.T. was designed to help fill that void by providing our veterans in V.A. nursing homes with a holiday card to show them we appreciate their sacrifice and their service. For many of the veterans it will be the only card they receive.

The project was the idea of Lynda and Daryl Smith who coordinated the collections of cards and distributed the cards to the veterans homes throughout California. Lynda and Daryl have retired and left Kern County, so for the second year in a row, we have taken over the responsibility of being the collection point and making sure the cards are distributed to veterans homes throughout our state. Over the years our incredible community donated over 25,000 cards, including 3,000 last year!

PLEASE NOTE, there are certain requirements placed on us by the V.A. and the cards will not be sent unless the requirements are adhered to. Nothing political, religious and no personal information other than your first name, if you'd like. Keep in mind these cards will be distributed by the facility and we have no idea of the religious or political affiliation of the veteran.

Another very important requirement is "no cards with glitter," remember many of these veterans have wounds from their service or from surgeries, and glitter would not be a welcome addition. As far as something to say in the cards a simple "thank you" or "thank you for your service" would be appropriate and very meaningful to a veteran whose only contact this Christmas/holiday might be your card.

Do not seal the envelope or put a stamp on it, that will be taken care of on our end. The last day to collect cards is Nov. 21 at Marty Pay Farmers Insurance, 212 W. F St., Tehachapi. (661) 822-3737.

Please help us make sure we "Don't Ever Forget Them."


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