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Centralia VFW hosts VA Home official for BBQ,

Posted on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 6:05 am

Raises funds for area veterans’ home

Members of the Centralia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6275 held a fundraising barbecue on the Centralia City Square.

Ron Azdell at the grill for the Centralia VW

Ron Azdell at the grill for the Centralia VW

This one was with a twist. Kathleen Winkleman, volunteer coordinator for the Mexico Veterans Home, one of the organizations for which Centralia’s veterans raise funds.

Their September 22 BBQ raised $600 for the Veterans’ home, VFW member Ed Torreyson said.

“Centralia’s veterans have been great to us,” Winkleman said watching as people lined up in the rain to purchase grilled rib-eye sandwiches from the veterans.”

Besides providing whatever information about the Veterans Home she could, including advising potential residents and their families on the application process, Winkleman was there to discuss on particular change in the process.

Previously a veteran on the list for admission to the VA home, when his or her name came up for admission could turn the opportunity down, time after time until they, or their family, thought he or she was ready, or beyond the ability to care for  himself or be cared for by the family.

That has changed and now, if a veteran on the list turns the opportunity down four times, they are taken off the list and must reapply for admission. Additionally, as of September 3, the VA Commission in Missouri had not decided how long the veteran had to wait until said veteran would be allowed to reapply.

“There is such a need. The demand is such that when a bed becomes available, it is usually filled within 48 hours,” Winkleman said.

She also discussed all the good, the donations from the Centralia VFW helped the 150-bed VA Home accomplish.

Donations also, Winkleman said, “go to all the extras for our veterans, such as helping support our Assistance League, a six-member board who oversee how all  the donations to the home are used… They make sure all the dollars are used appropriately.”

Those donations, she said, helped fund items for the VA Home such as: the pavilion, a bus to transport residents on trips as well as to outside physicians’ offices or to the VA Hospital in Columbia and entertainment and enrichment trips such as visiting the Clydesdales’ farm.

The VA Home’s primary source of support, she said, is state funds.