Three new veterans homes opening across Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is opening three new veterans homes in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston, with 198 veterans moving in over the next several weeks.
Gov. Tim Walz said the state has nearly 300,000 veterans, and homes like these are going to be needed in the coming years.
Dave Dunn, Preston Veterans Home administrator, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS these latest homes to be built in Minnesota took more than 10 years of planning right up through construction. He says the effort was organized by veterans and state and county leaders.
“Veterans who need 24-hour care with walking or bathing or feeding, you know, taking medications, things like that,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the new veterans home in Preston has residents spanning four separate wars, and the connection between the vets is noticeable right away. They all have single-bed rooms, access to medical facilities, a full kitchen, exercise rooms and mental health assistance.
“We care for those who’ve served their country. You know, they sacrificed a lot: their family, their time,” said Dunn.
Donald Richardson served in the Korean War and recently moved into the Preston facility.
“It’s been very nice. Yup, it’s a very nice place, very satisfied,” Richardson said. “It’s just really nice to visit with all the veterans.”
Dunn said between the three new veterans homes, there is already a waiting list of more than 400 veterans.