PELL CITY -- Maj. Cory Roberts and cadets from the Jacksonville State University ROTC spread holiday cheer at the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City the last day before campus closed for winter break Dec. 20, according to a press release.

Several faculty, staff and students of the ROTC program visited with the veterans and delivered beautiful Christmas poinsettias donated by university President John and Dr. Pamela Beehler.

More than 250 of our nation’s military veterans reside at the home. The 5-year-old facility is open to retired and disabled veterans of any age who have served a minimum of 90 days in the military, with a preference given to those who have served active duty.

Current residents are ages 46-100, with an average age of 80, and there is a two-year waiting list to get into the state-of-the-art campus.

ROTC faculty and students decorated the home’s Town Center -- a gathering spot in the main lobby -- with poinsettias. They also spent time chatting with the residents, whose vast military experience spans generations and includes legendary wartime missions.

Veterans Home Director Hiliary Hardwick, a 2005 JSU nursing alumna, will visit the university later this month to form new partnerships on campus that will support and enrich the lives of the veterans year-round.