Captain John Zink says the Naval Home is a living museum of American history, but for the past two years he and his staff have been focused on the Naval Home's future. The future is laid out in new 100 million dollar master plan. The plan calls for the building of a 120-bed assisted living facility and the addition of two new towers for resident rooms. Once that work is completed, the older rooms would be renovated. Another part of the plan includes buying more land around the Naval Home grounds to accommodate more private residences for veterans.
Naval Home Director Capt... John Zink said "If we had a neighborhood or a community environment where we had cottages or duplexes or town homes then we could allow for those residents to bring pets with them. They could bring the kinds of things that they've spent their lifetime with."
Right now, most veterans can't bring their lifetime companions-- their wives-- with them. Current rules only allow women who served prior to 1948 to live in the Naval Home. Captain Zink would like to see that rule changed and says the new plans would accommodate veterans and spouses. However, some current residents don't like the idea.
"I guess the reason I frown on the wives coming in here is because they didn't do anything," said Velda White, Naval Home resident. "They did something at home but not to live in here."
Bill Knight said "I have a good friend that wanted to come here but his wife won't give him permission to come."
The Naval Home plans to approach Congress about funding for the master plan next fiscal year.
by Danielle Thomas
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