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Milwaukee's Soldiers Home focus of restoration for community group, VA Hospital

Despite a national scandal surrounding the level of care at VA Hospitals, Milwaukee veterans have spoken out in an overwhelmingly positive manner about the programs offered at the VA here.

The Milwaukee VA sits on 125 acres and takes full advantage of the space to offer multiple resources to those who have served. Services include rehabilitation, programs for substance abuse and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

There are hundreds of beds available for in-patient care and more than 500,000 veterans seek treatment through outpatient services provided in a community-based network across southeastern and east central Wisconsin.

Milwaukee's VA Hospital is home to many national historic landmarks, including the Soldiers Home. Established in the late 1800's, the Soldiers Home was built to provide care and services to veterans all under one roof. Other facilities were built to support it, such as a chapel, theatre and library. These areas made up a village, serving as places of refuge and healing to help ease a soldier's transition back into society.

The Soldiers Home and its surrounding village is one of three originals in the country. The buildings are still standing, but are in need of repair.

The VA is exploring restoration options, as well as a community-based group, called the Community Advisory Council.

Under the guidance of the National Trust and Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, the group launched an effort called Save the Soldiers Home. The goal is to restore the building and return it back to it's original use.

You can learn more about the mission by visiting the Web site. On the CBS 58 Morning News, Marshanna Hester also had the opportunity to learn more from members of the advisory council and the VA.

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