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Veteran's home celebrates 40 years of service
March 26, 2015 Lisa Betz   

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Photo by Lisa Betz/Gering Citizen - Western Nebraska Veterans Home administrator Lonnie Starke welcomes residents and guests at the home’s 40th anniversary celebration on Friday.

Life is good at the Western Nebraska Veterans Home in Scottsbluff. More than 100 residents and special guests celebrated 40 years of service on Friday with residents and staff. The home has provided area veterans living in the 103 capacity facility with assisted living and expert nursing since 1975.

Facility administrator Lonnie Starke welcomed visitors and reside at the reception which featured refreshments and a slideshow of the home’s historic milestones. Starke said he was especially proud of the five years of consecutive awards for zero deficiencies. “That’s a big accomplishment that we’re very proud of here,” he said.

The facility opened on March 19, 1975 in the former Hiram Scott Dormitory and has since added a non-denominational chapel, a 50-bed nursing unit, a physical therapy room, a pond stocked with fish, a walking path and a memorial wall honoring former residents.

Orum McMasters, a 94-year-old Alliance native who recently moved to the facility, said it is a nice place to be. “You have to get used to a lot of things,” he said. “But it’s a nice place."

McMasters, known as “Mac” by residents and staff, served in Company B with the 116 Combat Engineers 41st Division during World War II. He takes advantage of the physical therapy room wich offers weights and cardio equipment.

Residents enjoy activities such as pool tournaments, a fish fry, tailgating parties, bingo, and cards.
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