Veterans in the South Bay got a special visit from some of the models featured in a charity calendar that benefits veterans causes.
Pin-Up for Vets charity founder Gina Elise and several other models visited the Chula Vista Veterans Home of California this month to entertain the veterans and hand out free 2016 calendars.
The calendar draws inspiration from the World War II pin-up girls, whose photos boosted morale for U.S. soldiers fighting overseas. They sell for $15 to raise money for veterans causes, but they are given for free to the veterans the group visits, thanks to donations.
"I just really wanted to do something creative to give back to our troops and veterans," Elise said.
Elise is from Lake Arrowhead, and attended UCSD before tranferring to UCLA. It was after graduation that she decided to combine her love of the 1940's look with her desire to honor veterans, like her grandfather Lou. He served in the army during World War II.
This is the tenth calendar for the organization. This year's features more veterans than any in the past: 17 veteran male and female models, in all.
Elisa said she loves to see the response when veteran models visit veterans in homes and state hospitals.
"For the vets there to see our ambassadors are veterans, it's really special," Elisa said. "It's a really nice connection, a kinship of an instant brotherhood and sisterhood."
The Pin-Up for Vets tour has made at least half a dozen stops San Diego County in recent years, including stops at Camp Pendleton, San Diego Naval Medical Center, and the VA hospital.
Elise said the non-profit donated $15,000 to Naval Medical Center for rehabilitative equipment, and teamed up with the Wounded Warrior project to help provide Thanksgiving to Marines here.
The group has visited 7,000 veterans since the project started. The organizaiton also sends care packages to deployed military members.
To purchase a calendar or donate one to a veteran, visit the Pin-Up for Vets website.