PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Just after Hurricane Ian blew through Florida, a Navy veteran living in Port Charlotte was able to celebrate her 101st birthday.
First Lady Casey DeSantis was able to take a trip to the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans' Nursing Home to meet with the residents. One of the residents, Anna Wojtalik, celebrated her birthday on Thursday.
“Anna is a beautiful example of strength and resilience,” Casey DeSantis said in a statement. “We are thankful for Anna’s service to our country during World War II. It was an honor to wish a happy belated birthday to an American hero.”
Wojtalik, who's a long-time resident of Punta Gorda, served during World War II in the U.S. Navy as a Yeoman Third Class. She's been living at the nursing home now for four years, participating in several veteran-related events like Port Charlotte's Wreaths Across America event in 2021.
"During the storm recovery, it is important for our seniors and veterans to know that there are resources dedicated to building and maintaining resiliency," the governor's office said in a statement.
After Ian, the First Lady announced the Department of Elder Affairs will be deploying Hope Hero volunteers in southwest Florida to serve the senior population. Veterans can also call FDVA at 727-319-7440 for assistance.