Gov. Heineman Questions GI Officials on Fight Against New Veterans Home


Gov. Dave Heineman is asking Grand Island leaders whether or not they are still in support of a new veterans home being built to serve veterans in central Nebraska.

Heineman sent a letter to State Senator Mike Gloor of Grand Island, Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek and Hall County Chair Pam Lancaster, asking the Grand Island leaders to renew their support for a new vets home.

The request comes following a letter sent by Hall County Veterans Service Office Don Shuda to U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to "not approve the funding for a new Nebraska Veterans Home until further study is completed."

In the governor's letter, Heineman asked, "Because Grand Island did not win the bid, do you no longer support funding for a new Central Nebraska Veterans Home?"

Heineman called the request "outrageous" and urged state and local officials in Grand Island to condemn it, asking Grand Island officials if Shuda acted with their approval.

A response from the Department of Veterans Affairs concerning Shuda's letter said the placement of the veterans home remains a state matter. It read, "As long as the State can demonstrate that the replacement facility will continue to serve the current Veteran population and meet VA standards of care, VA would respect a Governor's right to choose the location where it will be built."