UWSP ROTC visits the King Veterans Home
By CDT Thomas Fritz
When I was told we were going to a veterans home for the afternoon, I was expecting it to be like any other nursing or rest home. I was not really sure I wanted to go, but I figured going was the right thing to do, so I volunteered. When we actually got to the Veterans Home at King, a couple things caught me off guard.
The first thing you’ll notice if you ever stop by is that the place is absolutely massive. It’s the size of a small college and it was pretty luxurious as well. There were multiple rec centers, apartments, even small cottages where the vets live, and other things like bandstands scattered around the campus. It was really a beautiful site, and the place sits right next to the King Chain ‘O Lakes so the view was gorgeous.
The second thing wasn’t until I actually got to meet some of the residents. When we got there and started talking with them, I realized that every single one of these men and women put their lives on the line for their country. It makes all the conversations that much more meaningful. And trust me, there was plenty of conversation. The residents were all very outgoing, friendly, and more than happy to share their wisdom with a young adult such as myself. I played pool with one resident in particular who was a lot more skilled than he let on (and I got thoroughly stomped three games in a row). When we played Bingo with the residents, the atmosphere of it all was different than I was expecting too–I could tell they weren’t there because they had to be, they just wanted to get together for an hour or two and be with their friends.
Overall, I thought the trip was more than just a “good deed for the day.” It was an enlightening and eye-opening experience, and I’m thoroughly satisfied I made the trip.