Norfolk Veterans Home celebrates 50 years of service
It was back in 1963 that the Norfolk, Nebraska Veterans Home was established as a place of nursing care for Veterans who were either aging or had come home injured from war. Friday in Norfolk, the home celebrated it's 50th anniversary and a number of state and local officials, former employees and veterans were on hand for the festivities.
While the Norfolk Veterans Home has been in Norfolk for 50 years, the current facility was established in 2001 and has a capacity of 151 residents. To this day, the facility is deficiency free and looks like it just opened yesterday. When you think of 50 years, you may think of things such as buildings and locations, but state officials say it's the staff that make the difference.
"The staff are the ones that actually provide the cares that we're trying to provide for our Nation's heroes, our Veterans. So it is only appropriate that they be recognized today on the 50th birthday of the Norfolk Veterans Home," said the Director of Nebraska Veterans Homes, John Hilgert.
Administrator Jerry Eisenhauer also gives the employees and past administration credit for all the years of success. He says their dedication and commitment to the home's members show every day.
"When I got here, there was very little for me to do. They had all the foot work done and I just took over and hit the ground running from there. So, I want to thank them for every thing they have done," said Eisenhauer.
Among the special guests for the anniversary program was Army Captain Luis Montalvan and his service dog Tuesday. Montalvan wrote a best selling book about how his K-9 service dog has helped him recover serious physical, psychological and emotional war injuries. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman was also on hand, who is a veteran himself, spending five years as a paratrooper in the US Army.
"And so I always like to attend these events just to simply say thank you. To have a little fun, whether you're Army like me or Navy, Air Force or Marine or Coast Guard. We always like to kid each other, but at the end of the day, we all fought together. We're Americans first and we're proud that we served," said Heineman.
Following the Anniversary ceremony, a special BBQ was held for the residents and their families which also featured live music, bounce houses and lots of memories discussed.
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