Veteran's Home Qualms

As an employee of the Grand Island Veterans Home and resident of Hastings, I feel compelled to shed more light on the subject of moving this home to Kearney.

To start with, why were there only three people on the committee that decided the move? Why weren’t they given a tour of the facility in Grand Island? How on earth can three people decide where to move 200 people without having a forum or talking to families? And who were the three people who made this decision?

When was the last time anyone on the committee or the governor, for that matter, was told by an outsider that they had to move to another location that was picked for them without even having a discussion with their families? I imagine it wouldn’t sit well.

This is a decision to be made with your head as well as your heart. When we start working at the veterans home, we are told that the members do not live where we work, but rather we work in their home.

I don’t think there is much dispute about the fact we need a new veterans home. If anyone would care to contact the veterans home or have a tour, they could arrive at that decision themselves.

The heating and cooling system is a big problem. In the original building, there is just one bathroom with a shower on each floor.

The biggest reason for Grand Island to retain the veterans home has nothing to do with which city had the most points or what kind of perks they could give. It has to do with the fact that Grand Island has “grown up” with the home.

There’s no way you can transfer 126 years of support to a new community. They don’t have the “love” and “respect” in their blood.

When I first started working there more than six years ago, I was blown away by the support of the veterans home by the community, the schools and their students and its neighbors. It was so noticeable.

During the holidays, gifts are brought for the members as well as donations of money.

As I said earlier, you can’t transfer the support and bonding of 126 years and expect things to remain the same.

We have all had horror stories about how veterans have been treated in the past, so let’s show them how much they mean to us and give them a say in this matter.

As for the governor to say the people of Grand Island are whining, they are not. They are just protecting what is theirs.

The final decision may be up to the governor; however, I and many other Nebraskans believe he should have allowed veterans and their families to have a say in this process. No one man should have control over this many people.

Carrie Shepphard

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