We are thankful for our freedom, and we are humbled by the cost. Today we honor those who protected all that was fought for and the men and women who gave it all. Thank you veterans, you are our true patriots! Hug them, thank them, teach your children of their sacrifices….today and all the days to come.
We are honored to work with Green House homes, including those specifically serving Veterans, who create meaningful lives for our nation’s heroes at every stage of life. Cheryl Kennedy is a daughter whose father, Paul, lives at Liberty House at VA Illiana in Danville, IL. When asked about the impact of living in a Green House home for a veteran, she says:
“ The more I learn about The Green House project, the more I am awed by what it offers veterans like my father – a beautiful, real home environment with access to VA facilities and services and, most important, care 24/7. Important for my father, was the privacy of his own room and the comfort level of his natural connection with the other veterans. For him, sitting at the table with these men was similar to his experience of sitting at the table with his Friday night crew at the American Legion. Dad readily shares how lucky he is to call the Liberty House his home!”
In honor of Veteran’s Day, The Green House Project wants to give a shout out to the VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) in Danville, Illinois. This team never lost sight of their dream: bringing a real home environment to their Community Living Centers (CLCs). For six years staff at VAIHCS worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality. Finally in December 2011, they opened their first Green House home, and then the second home one month later. Over the next year, two more Green House homes will open.
This week, the team was notified that they received the 2012 Under Secretary for Health’s Award for Innovation in VA Community Living Centers. This award is given to a VA that has shown real leadership and innovation in veterans’ care. The organization receiving this award has shown change in the following areas: work practices, care practices, environment of care, leadership, and government and community relationships.
This award is a testament to the determination and passion of all the individuals involved in this effort. A comment from one veteran who said, “I never thought I would be living in a home again” or a staff member who stated that “I look forward to coming to work and I am in no hurry to leave at the end of my shift” is all the proof they need to know this initiative was worth it.