Have you ever had an idea that was so good that you were certain it simply couldn’t fail?

Well here at Passionate Pachyderms we had one of those flashing light, alarm sounding ideas that we just couldn’t wait to do! The best part of the idea was we would get nothing from it, but some lucky Veteran and their spouse or guest would have a weekend in D.C. that they would never forget, one that would show them they are not forgotten, and their service is deeply appreciated.

Passionate Pachyderms world headquarters is located about 2 1/2 hours from D.C., while in our nations capital about a year ago, we were inspired to go forward and put together an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. so a lucky veteran could see all the amazing monuments on the mall.

Together with my husbands company, and our local American Legion post, Passionate Pachyderms plans and puts on a free Veterans appreciation cookout each year that is attended by over 350 area VETS and their family members. We approached the Legion Post with the idea for the trip and suggested they could use it as a fund raiser for the post by selling raffle tickets to win the trip. They loved the idea, and agreed. Our thought was, there are so many hotels around the mall we felt certain one of them would help us honor a veteran by donating a room for two nights. A slam dunk right? If only that were true. Now we will tell you the rest of the story.

We began in late January by researching all D.C. Hotels within a five mile radius of the National mall, once we had the list and the address of each, we researched the names of the hotel managers, put together a fabulous letter explaining what we were doing and why, and asked if they would please show our veterans their appreciation by donating one room for a two night stay. We explained the stay would be raffled off at the Veterans appreciation cookout on September 30, 2017 and 100% of the proceeds would go to the American Legion post. We also included at self addressed stamped post card for them to return to us after they checked one of two boxes, “yes we will participate, please contact me to make further arrangements”, or “no we decline to participate at this time.” The letters were addressed by hand and mailed directly to the managers at the hotels, all ninety of them.

To be clear, all any of the ninety hotel managers had to do was check a box, then put the post card in their outgoing mail within six weeks of receiving the letter, we would do the rest.

While I won’t include a list of the hotels and their managers in this article,  I encourage those interested in the  list to please contact me directly through PassionatePachyderms.com or via our Facebook page, facebook.com/passionatepachyderms and I will be happy to send it to you.

Of the ninety, only two responded at all, The Hyatt Grand, and The Mandarin, both declined to participate, however, I do give them credit for doing what the other eighty-eight could not be bothered to.

As the Passionate Pachyderm leader, someone who spent 21 years with the U.S. Navy, raised two children as military brats, and someone who knows all too well the unbelievable sacrifices made by military members to keep this country safe, and allow all Americans to live the lives they are blessed to live in this country, not only am I shocked and disappointed by this complete lack of respect, appreciation, or common courtesy for those who have given so much in service to their country, I am completely disgusted by the fact that these multi million dollar businesses operating within five miles of the National mall in our nations capital city, refused to make an in kind donation of one room for a two nights stay which would enable a United States Armed Forces Veteran the opportunity to see the mall, all of the amazing war memorials, and enjoy a restful stay in a nice hotel.

When you consider World War II Veterans that have not yet passed on are in their 80’s and 90’s and may not be with us much longer, Korea and Vietnam Veterans are not far behind them, and Gulf War / Iran-Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans are struggling mightily to the point they are committing suicide at a rate of 20 per day, it literally blows my mind that not one of these hotels making millions off of Americans visiting Washington D.C. each year, could be bothered to donate a single hotel room for a weekend out of appreciation for all our Vets have made it possible for them to have and do, nor help an organization that does so much in support of our veterans raise some much needed funds so they can continue to do so.

I have to ask how you as Americans and Passionate Pachyderm members feel about this? Are you as outraged by this as we are? If so, are you willing to forward this article to EVERYONE you know and encourage them to do the same? If you feel as we do that the owners and managers of these hotels should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of consideration and support of our brave men and women, we ask that you please help us get the word out and perhaps by doing so, together we can encourage one of them to step up and do the right thing!


passionatepachyderms.com / Facebook.com/passionatepachyderms


  1.  by  pamisue21

    What ever happened with this? Anymore responses? I am not local, but I have a phone. I can help call each of these places………. seriously, this is so embarrassing for them. Shame…..

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