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Oakland Park Veteran Spotlight: Eugene Andresen

Veterans Day, observed on November 11th, is a day to celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Eugene Andresen: Willingness to Serve

The willingness to serve never seemed to leave Oakland Park’s Eugene Andresen, who spent five years in the Navy serving his country during the Vietnam era. Andresen enlisted in 1957 and served on the USS Hugh Purvis as a payroll clerk, responsible for payroll upon the ship until 1962. In that time, he toured Europe, the Mediterranean, and the North Sea.

He remembers the first few days after enlisting as hard to be away from his family. He was just 19 years old. He also recalls the boot camp experience as being “made to toughen you up.” When asked how he got through it, he replies: “Grin and bear it.” It appears that determination never escaped Andresen.

An Active Community Member

Andresen has been a member of the Kiwanis club for 37 years; 33 of these years spent in the Oakland Park Kiwanis Club. He is also an active member of the Thomas P. Jackson American Legion Post 222. On top of that, he also volunteers over 20 hours a week of his time to a senior companion program, formerly known as Impact Broward, which is now called SOFIA – The South Florida Institute on Aging. Volunteers for SOFIA work with elderly clients who need companionship and respite care.

Two of his past clients were legally blind. He would read with them, read their mail for them or sit and watch TV. He also assisted with Impact Broward’s food drive to benefit veterans, serving on the advisory council. He was also inducted into Broward County’s Areawide Council of Aging Senior Hall of Fame for his volunteer work.

In 2015, Andresen was featured in the Sun Sentinel, Society Scene, for his volunteerism. Now slightly over 80 years old, Andresen does not plan on retiring his activism anytime soon. Now that COVID-19 restrictions have relaxed, he plans on volunteering with new seniors in need.

No Excuses to Help

In a time of a million excuses and overloaded schedules, a glimpse of the life of Andresen can inspire many to find the time to give back. Oakland Park thanks Mr. Andresen and all Veterans for their service to our community. Volunteer work deserves thanks and praise, but our senior, veteran volunteers are national treasures.

To find out more about the Thomas P. Johnson American Legion Post 222, located at 425 NE 5th Avenue, Oakland Park, you can visit their website here:

Do you want to honor a veteran? Tell us about who they are in the comments section of this post. 

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* is an independent publication, not affiliated with the City of Oakland Park.

Desiree Avila


Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 33 years. In addition to publishing, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism.

Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR, and SFR. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to Realtors® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry.

She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a Realtor® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others.

She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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