On Wednesday, June 13 Governor Markell, Lieutenant Governor Denn and U.S. Representative John Carney joined several statewide officials and the Milford community in celebrating the Delaware Veterans Home’s 5 year anniversary. With over 118 veterans currently calling this facility home, the Delaware Veterans Home has become one of the leading care facilities in the nation devoted to the American veteran.
In 2004, legislation appropriating funds to design and build the 150-bed Delaware Veterans Home was signed into law by Governor Minner. Two years later on December 7, 2006, on the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the home was dedicated at the Milford facility. Six months later, the first five veterans moved into the Delaware Veterans Home in the month of June; two of which still live in the home today. Over the first year in operation the facility grew by 99 residents, totaling the number to 104 veterans. In the last five years the Delaware Veterans home has welcomed a total of 227 residents and sadly said goodbye to 158 veterans.
At Wednesday’s event, veterans from the home joined Milford community members as state and federal delegates spoke of the importance of the Delaware Veterans Home and the dedication of its staff.
“What has impressed me every time I come here is the dedicated staff and volunteers,” stated Governor Markell. “When I travel around the state I meet with families that have a loved one that lives here. It truly is a place where our veterans receive loving and personal care. We are fortunate to have this facility in Delaware.”
In 2011 the Delaware Veterans Home received a Five-Star Quality Rating by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). After receiving a below average assessment in 2008, the administration, staff and volunteers were able to make major changes that resulted in CMS’s highest rating just three years later.
“The last three an a half years we committed that this home would be one of the best in the nation,” stated Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock at Wednesday’s event. “Director Bill Patterson, his staff and every one that works here deserves the credit for making this facility the best in the country.”
Among those recognized on Wednesday were Delaware Air National Guard General Carol Timmons, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Senator George Bunting, Chairman of the House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee Representative Earl Jaques, Chairman of the the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs James Thompson and National Association of State Veteran Homes President Fred Sganga.
“I am humbled to play a small part in this,” commented Senator Bunting, Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “I remember so many of my friends that did not come back…it is their sacrifices that allowed us to celebrate the Delaware Veterans Home.”