Kearney Veterans Show Support for Vets Home, GI Wants "Sunshine"


Activists are packing a bus to Lincoln to save plans for the veterans home in Kearney.

Community leaders including Mayor Stan Clouse, City Manager Mike Morgan and Buffalo County veterans are traveling to the state capitol.

Thursday there will be a legislative hearing on a bill that could put the veterans home decision in the hands of the Legislature, and possibly block it from moving to Kearney.

"I think the senators, they would understand the issue and certainly we will add to that tomorrow and maybe address specific questions why we're there as well," said Morgan.

Bob Harpst, who served in the army for 31 years, is tired of the fight to prevent the vets home move to Kearney.

"It is frustrating from the point all the controversy just hurts one group of people, the veterans who need a new home," said Harpst.

If the new veterans home is built in Kearney, it will be located at 56th Street and Cherry Avenue, the former home of the barracks for the Kearney Army Air Base from 1942-1949.

The 75-acre site sits near the airport and about a half-mile east of the city owned vacant data park.

Meanwhile, Grand Island has declared Thursday as "Sunshine Day" for veterans, saying the process to move the vets home needs to be done in the light.

The Grand Island City Council passed a resolution this week, backing Senator Mike Gloor's bill.

Vavricek said, "It's important for the state to understand the impact of relocation of state facilities plays within each community in such a way that there's an orderly process."

Mayor Vavricek says Grand Island leaders think it would be more open and fair to have the full legislature have the final say. Vavricek said the cities were all trying to achieve something positive, but he feels the process created "disharmony" among the communities.