Lakeland Currents: Northern Minnesota Veterans Home
For more than a decade, the Northern Minnesota Veterans Home Task Force has been advocating for the construction of a veterans home that would serve the thousands of veterans living in and around Beltrami County. There are about 28,000 veterans living in the 16-county northern Minnesota region. This region includes the counties of Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau. Supporters of the veteran home project argue that these veterans are geographically isolated from the existing veteran’s homes in the state, and thus, underserved. In recent weeks, bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate that would fund the construction of two veteran’s homes, including one here in Bemidji. To talk us through the proposal and its potential impacts, our guests are two men who are veterans themselves. Scotty Allison is the Veterans Service Officer for Beltrami County and Joe Vene is a former Beltrami County Commissioner.