Los Alamos Preceptor Beta Chapter Of Beta Sigma Phi Honors Veterans With Thank You Cards For 10th Year

Last year’s Preceptor Beta Chapter Veterans Day card featured the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, DC. Courtesy photo


This week marks a special week for the Sisters of the Los Alamos Preceptor Beta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.  Every year they send out ‘thank you for your service’ cards to Veterans in appreciation of their service.  This tradition has been carried out for the last 10 years under the leadership of Claire Swinhoe, who is currently the Vice-President of Preceptor Beta.

Claire, who herself is from a military family, feels it is vitally important to recognize and thank all those who have served in the military.  She knows firsthand how much families and veterans sacrifice for service to their country.

This year’s cards are a little different than past years. 

“It is the first time we have ever pre-printed our cards.  Normally we make them by hand, but it has been difficult due to COVID for us to all get together and make them,” Claire said. 

The cards feature a photograph that was taken in Washington DC.  The cards from last year also featured a photograph that Claire took of the Iwo Jima Memorial, a place Claire highly recommends that everyone should visit.

Recipients this year include some out of state veterans but the vast majority will be going to Los Alamos and White Rock.  The card travelling the furthest is going to an Air Force Veteran in Australia.  Ages range from veterans in their 40s to two gentlemen in their 90’s.  All recipient’s names are given to us by people who know the Veterans and are not always known to us.

“People sometimes do not understand how much families miss their loved ones when they are deployed and how anxious they are that they return safely from war or a deployment.  I once received a thank you note from a Marine who said that he had never been thanked for his service before and how he cried when he received our card.  Another soldier told me about his service in Korea and missing the birth of his first child.  All these stories are heartwarming but also make you realize how thankful we should all be for their service.

“I wish we could send out more cards” Claire said, “but we have limited finances available to us and we are a small group of ladies and are self-funded.  Costs are rising all the time, especially postage.”

Los Alamos Preceptor Beta Chapter is comprised of 10 ladies; Helen Boorman, Linda Johnson, Laura Kendrick, Elena Guerra, Lyn Haval, Kathy Enloe, Susan Heckethorn, Barbara Evans, Jacque Ciddio and Claire Swinhoe.  Beta Sigma Phi is an International Women’s Group with Chapters throughout the world.  Their motto is Life, Learning and Friendship and they are a service organization.  The organization is currently celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Los Alamos Preceptor Beta Chapter has been in existence since 1962.  They regularly donate funds and many hours to LA Cares, Alzheimer’s Associate, Science Fair, Festival of Trees, Adopt A Family and many more.

The next event that they will be participating in is Wreaths Across America where they will donate a couple of wreaths to be laid on the graves of Veterans at Guaje Pines in Los Alamos.

In the meantime, Claire hopes that everyone who receives a Veteran’s thank you card this year will be surprised and know how much Preceptor Beta thanks them for their service, appreciates them and that they are not forgotten.