#WATWB: A Home for Soldiers

While biking on vacation a week ago, my girlfriend and I came across the Milwaukee Soldiers Home along the Hank Aaron State Trail. This home is a national historic landmark dating back to post Civil War.

From the webside via the link above:

“The Milwaukee Soldiers Home was built in 1867 as a place of healing for veterans returning from the Civil War. As one of his last acts, President Lincoln signed legislation to create a national system of homes for disabled veterans. Since then, thousands of Wisconsin veterans have called the Milwaukee Soldiers Home their safe haven. One of only 43 National Historic Landmarks in Wisconsin, the Soldiers Home contains some of the oldest and most historic buildings in the VA system.”

“It is the most intact Soldiers Home in the country and the only one with the majority of its surrounding recuperative village remaining. Today, this great historic asset is threatened. In response, The Milwaukee Preservation Alliance, in partnership with key local, regional and national stakeholders, have spearheaded a renewed effort to protect, repair and rehabilitate the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home District. The Milwaukee Preservation Alliance is at work to identify and capitalize upon opportunities to motivate the greater community and the VA to take steps to put the District, a national treasure, back into the service of veterans. With wise stewardship, the Soldiers Home can be a place of enhanced services to veterans, commemorating the Civil War and honoring the sacrifice of veterans of all wars.”

Visit the website for additional information and photos.

Rehabilitation efforts to restore and rehabilitate six buildings on the grounds were completed in spring of this year. Per an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in October 2020, a project has converted buildings into 101 apartments for veterans and their families, some of whom are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

My friend and I talked to two gentleman who were sitting outside one of the buildings and told us of the apartments. They were at a smaller building, but stated the inside of the larger building above is “just beautiful.” I would have loved to see the inside, but with the pandemic continuing to hang on, a walking tour via an app is currently the only option.

“These grounds and buildings talked of an earlier time, when healing was not just about pills and procedures. It was about nature, fresh air, and majestic trees; where the buildings themselves are art. We could learn much from these healers of a century ago, to help our newest generation of veterans heal their wounds of war.” ~Bob Curry, Vietnam Veteran~

Kudos to Milwaukee and all involved with the Soldiers Home restoration, in helping America’s veterans with homes and healing.

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Welcome to the “We are the World Blogfest” (#WATWB ). The #WATWB was inspired by a simple conversation about how all the negativity on social media was weighing on us. Wanting to make a difference we decided to try to do our part to infuse social media with all the good stories that are out there. We hope to share the stories that show kindness, compassion, hope, overcoming challenges and in general, the impressive resilience of the human spirit. For every dark, negative story out there, there is a positive, heartwarming story that will add some light and lift the human spirit.” ~Belinda Witzenhausen~

If you would like to join in with posting for #WATWB or simply spread some joy on Facebook or Twitter, please click HERE for more information, guidelines and the hosts for this month’s event. You can go HERE to be part of the #WATWB Community Facebook page, where monthly posts congregate for your reading pleasure.

This month’s post falls on Friday, July 30th, 2021 – Sylvia McGrath (https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.com ) and Belinda Witzehausen (https://www.BelindaWitzenhausen.com/) will be co-hosting.

13 responses to #WATWB: A Home for Soldiers

  1. beth says:

    what a beautiful place for those who worked to keep our country safe and protect others

  2. quiall says:

    When there is a need these men and women do not think twice about putting their lives on the line. We should be doing everything possible to make their lives as comfortable as possible because they have given us the comfort of their protection.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I agree Pam. Being a soldier is selfless, courageous and dangerous, and the greatest reasons why we should be thankful in providing housing, services and whatever else is needed to give them a good life here.

  3. murisopsis says:

    This speaks highly of the community in restoring this historic and valuable asset! I wish the same could have been said of several others that were bulldozed and replaced with “modern” facilities or simply sold off. Our veterans deserve better! Sounds like your biking vacation took you to some beautiful areas!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      After spending a few days in Milwaukee, I have a new appreciation for the city and the good things that have been done for veterans and the community. I’m always grateful when older buildings are preserved for the sake of history and remembrance. And especially for our veterans.

  4. Great post! It’s great they are preserving such an important piece of history and honouring men and women who have served their country. Thanks so much for sharing and for being a part of #WATWB! Wishing you a wonderful week!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Belinda. These are beautiful buildings that continue to serve our veterans. I was happy to come across something I did not know about before, and more than happy to share.

  5. What a great post and beautiful building! How touching that they are preserving this important piece of history and acknowledging those who have served our country so well. Thanks for sharing this uplifting post!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome, Lizbeth. Those who have served our country deserve housing, at the very least, in positive and welcoming surroundings.

  6. Ally Bean says:

    Interesting and wonderful way to use a building and help a vulnerable group of people. History can show us the way, when we let it.

  7. Susan Scott says:

    So wonderful Mary thank you … I would have loved to have taken a walking tour but haven’t – as yet. But the picture that came up shows a very beautiful building in landscaped gardens. A fitting cause to house disabled veterans. It would be so great were other countries around the world could do this – show their appreciation to those gave so much. Great #WATWB post.

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