Green House Blog

Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center Celebrates The Opening of Their First Green House Home

It was a clear sky with not one cloud to cause a shadow on what was about to commence:  the ribbon cutting on the first of 12 Green House homes to care for the veterans who so selflessly gave their lives to fight for the American way of life Freedom.

 Around 200 people attended the gathering in the perfect 70 degree weather.  There were 10 individuals who were all dressed the same and when they were introduced no one was surprised as they were already caring for the veterans who would live in the homes.  These 10 people were the Guardians and were wearing light blue polo shirts with khaki pants. The 10 veterans were introduced to the crowd and it was an honor to hear that they were Vietnam and Korean War Vets who would be the first to move in and live there.  Mr. Tyler spoke to the reason why they were chosen by telling a story about the Vietnam War and how when the war changed due to changes in the Vietnamese’s tactics our men were physically left in dangerous situations and also publically back in the states our men were forgotten as it was not a popular war.  Mr. Tyler dedicated the first of these homes to them because they will never forget them.

Dr. Powers, Associate Chief Staff Geriatric and Extended Care spoke to the need to care for those veterans who have dementia and how these homes are the best place to serve individuals with dementia because of the home environment.  He mentioned that some colleagues had asked him if the home would be wasted on those individuals because of their memory loss.  He mentioned a story of how the brain, mind and soul work in every human being.  The brain is the hardware, the mind is the software and the soul is what makes us human.  He told a story of a soldier who recently won an important medal for his heroism.  This soldier ended up saving 7 of his group when he went against orders to pull back.  His brain was telling him to turn away for his own safety, his mind knew the consequences of not following orders but his soul is what was the humanity that made him go in and save those people.  So even if our brain and mind are not functioning our soul is always there and that is why the homes are perfect for those living with dementia because it is home and their souls will flourish living there.

 The name of the home was unveiled at the ceremony and was chosen by the veterans and the Guardians.  It will be called The Magnolia House.

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