Stacy Bane, the American Legion Auxiliary Iowa Veterans Home representative, spoke to members of the Oelwein American Legion and Auxiliary Monday night at their joint membership meeting.
Ms. Bane informed the group that the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH) encompasses 150 acres and had suffered some tree and roof damage in last year’s tornado in Marshalltown.
There are also some major renovations unrelated to that storm that are being updated, such as a new laundry and buildings being updated to house the pharmacy that is currently located in a basement.
The courtyard is a big project that will begin next spring. The concrete sidewalks are cracking, making it difficult for wheelchairs and residents with walkers to use. This project will cost more than one million dollars, as it is all funded by donations. Included in this overhaul will be the removal of the fountain and the construction of a gazebo in its place that will be wheelchair accessible.
The IVH currently has 40 WWII, 86 Korean and 238 Vietnam veterans residing there. The oldest resident just turned 103 and the youngest is 44 years old. Ms. Bane proudly detailed the array of daily activities that include two buses that take residents to many outings every day.
After Bane’s program the Post 9 Legion Commander Rick Kleppe presented her with a donation of a $1,000 check, made possible by the Michael T. Berger Charitable Fund, to use as they wish at the IVH. The Oelwein Auxiliary has been collecting several items specified for veterans’ use at the facility and gifted those items also. To commemorate the 100th year of the American Legion, 100 (or more) items were given.