Now, we apparently would like the state to give us millions to build a veterans' home. Our veterans deserve the best possible services we can give them. Absolutely, we owe them everything.
But who are we ask to for money for a home when we gave away the best possible place? We had a wonderful hospital with a great staff of dedicated psychiatrists, therapist, nurses, etc. -- they were terrific. The grounds were beautiful. Can't you imagine stressed-out veterans strolling those bucolic walks? They would have a gymnasium, a swimming pool, a library, and arts and crafts room. There was room for their families to visit, a chapel. So much more -- and we gave it away.
I can't remember any of the people mentioned in the Tribune story doing anything to save this place. Was it Wayne Thompson who worked hard to save some programs and buildings? We owe him so much.
A small mental hospital was built on the east side of Willmar, but, according to a newspaper article, treatment there has not been as good as expected. They called it a "behavior" facility, intimating that a serious, debilitating, mental illness is a "behavior" problem. Really?
A fine veterans' clinic is operating in Montevideo where many of our veterans go for care. Monte has pledged a considerable amount of money for a veterans' home there. Doesn't that seem like a logical place for the home -- next to the clinic where they receive care? Shouldn't common sense enter in?
We don't deserve to have the home here -- we blew the wonderful chance we had.