By Roger McKinney
MT. VERNON, Mo. —
The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded the Missouri Veterans Home $343,000 to build a solarium addition and a rehabilitation addition.
The award was announced by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. The home is not associated with the veterans’ clinic in Mount Vernon.
“We’re excited,” said Administrator James Dennis. “We’re ready for it.”
Dennis said he had submitted the request in January. He said the solarium will be an addition to the home’s dining room, allowing more space.
“It also will allow more natural light to come in,” Dennis said.
The rehabilitation addition will create space for larger equipment and for people in wheelchairs to maneuver.
He said he didn’t yet know when construction would start.
“The veterans who stood up to protect our freedoms have earned the best possible care,” McCaskill said in the news release announcing the award. “This is great news for the Missouri Veterans Home in Mount Vernon, which needs these resources to improve the care its residents depend on.”
The home, at 1600 S. Hickory, is operated by the Missouri Veterans Commission, part of the state government. It receives some federal funds, but is not associated with the Department of Veterans Affairs Gene Taylor Outpatient Clinic or the Missouri Rehabilitation Center.
The Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau, another of the seven homes operated by the Missouri Veterans Commission, was awarded $530,000 by the Department of Veterans Affairs to build a chapel.
James Dennis, administrator of the Missouri Veterans Home in Mount Vernon, said the home is preparing for Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 11, when the home will sponsor a 5-mile run and a 1-mile march.