“The Army Found Me!”
Oxnard outreach program reunites retired officer with long-time friend.
Brigadier Betty Whiteside (l) reminisces with childhood friend, Harriet (r).
The Oxnard Women’s Ministries program recently began an outreach at a seniors’ apartment complex where corps member and retired officer Brigadier Betty Whiteside lives. After discussion with the manager, flyers were taken to the apartments, and the residents were invited to an informational tea. Corps Sergeant Major Robin Campos and Brigadier Betty did the visiting.
When invited into one woman’s apartment, they explained the purpose for their visit. Immediately the pleased resident shared, “I was raised in The Salvation Army.” Brigadier Whiteside asked her where she grew up, and the woman replied, “Santa Barbara––and you’re Betty Whiteside.”
Not recognizing the woman’s married name on the door outside her apartment, the Brigadier then realized this was Harriet, whose family lived across the street from the corps, where her older sister had played the piano. Brigadier Whiteside recalled that the woman’s family was large and that many of the children had attended the youth programs when she was there.
These two neighbors are now enjoying a renewed friendship thanks to the Oxnard visitation program. They had not seen each other since 1940 when Betty went to training college. After all these years, says Harriet, “the Army found me!”
––Contributed by Oxnard Corps Officer Captain John Desplancke and Brigadier Betty Whiteside