Long-awaited Preston Veterans Home slated to open in July

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(ABC 6 News) – Veterans in Southeast Minnesota are counting down the days until they will have a space, they can call their own. The brand new Preston Veterans Home will open this summer. The sprawling new space takes up almost 10 acres, and is the first of it’s kind in Southeast Minnesota.

Veterans say walking through the near complete Preston Veterans Home…

“It’s a great feeling. Great feeling,” said Don Gildner, a U.S. Army veteran, and co-chair of the Preston Veterans Home Committee. He’s been working since 2017 for the building.

Up until now, the closest long-term care facility for vets has been in the Twin Cities – leaving local vets hours away from their hometowns and isolated from their families.

This new home in Preston has spots for 54 veterans. It’s a community for comrades who may have also experienced the same traumas of war.

“Veterans have different needs than a lot of different people do. This place fulfills the needs of the veteran. I think it’s going to be a great deal for them,” Gildner said.

“It’s gonna be that home-like atmosphere,” said David Dunn, an Air Force veteran and Administrator for the new home.

“This community has absolutely wrapped their arms around this project,” Dunn continued.

Dunn says construction is about 80 percent complete. They’re slated to welcome in their first residents in July. Each resident has a private room and bathroom with amenities like a therapy room, library and even a dentist’s office.

“You got the feeling that it’s really gonna happen. It’s here. It’s coming,” said Gildner, about the upcoming opening date.

The Preston Veterans Home will also bring an economic boost to the region. Its expected to bring around 120 new jobs, according to Dunn.

Applications for staff are rolling out in phases. Come May, Dunn says he’ll be looking for dozens of skilled nurses, maintenance, and cooks to come join the team. More information on staff applications can be found here.