I recently learned of serious financial problems for one of Missouri's greatest tributes to their veterans, the Missouri veterans' homes. My father, Lewis Glenn Rowland, a WWII veteran, requested to be put on a Missouri veterans' home waiting list.
The Missouri Veterans Commission helped make this happen (there are over 1,600 veterans on the seven Missouri veterans' homes' waiting lists while 1,350 veterans are currently residents in the homes).
Little did I dream how much those homes would mean to our family. After the doctor recommended dad enter a home, it was a miracle from God that dad's name suddenly appeared on the waiting list in just one week.
It was a very tough time for our family, but dad, being a member of the "Greatest Generation," made the tough decision to transfer to Warrensburg.
Dad transferred to the Warrensburg veterans home, and it was impressive. A beautiful facility, it was more like a "home." The people were exceptionally nice; they treated the residents like heroes.
The doctors and nurses did a great job in caring for my father. Dad adjusted quickly and besides the great care, the thing he really liked was the great food! This is not by accident - the facilities work very hard to prepare the best food affordable.
I was so proud of our state supporting seven facilities for its veterans. I learned recently that the Warrensburg veterans' home was honored as the best state veteran's home IN THE COUNTRY! That shows you how outstanding the seven Missouri veterans' homes are in Missouri.
Now the seven Missouri veterans' homes are in deep financial trouble. Due to cut-backs, they have lost millions in financial support. If Missouri does not come up with full funding, all of the homes could be closed down in 2012. This will cause many veterans to be removed from the facilities and leave those on waiting lists with no where to go. Thousands of outstanding employees of the homes will lose their jobs. We cannot allow this to happen.
I'm asking all citizens, our legislators and governor who care about their veterans to get involved.
There is a Veterans Rally in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday in support of the Missouri veterans' homes. There will be many veterans organizations represented, but we need everyone to come out and support the care for our elderly veterans in Missouri.