Retiring Veterans Find Living the Relaxed Life is a Bit Harder

Retiring Veterans Find Living the Relaxed Life is a Bit Harder

By: Lauren Keith

Cape Girardeau, MO - If you’re one of the 15 million veterans in our country, you may plan on retiring while living among your comrades. However, if you’re planning on living in the Missouri Veterans Home inCape Girardeau, better get on the waiting list!  There’s a growing number of veterans trying to get in statewide-run homes.  When Dr. Jim Drickey knew he'd soon retire from the Psychology department at Southeast MO State, he immediately put his name on a waiting list at the Missouri Veterans Home.

Even after that preparation, he still waited a full year before he could get in and live there. 

"So, I sold my home and got ready," said Drickey.

Coincendentally, just one week before the Veterans home staff called Drickey to let him a know a spot was ready, something else forced him to need this home even more. 

"I had a heart attack," he said.

Dr. Drickey's doing much better now, and living life next to his comrades in the home.  Meanwhile, 175 other veterans are on a waiting list hoping their names will soon be called to live here, too.  Right now, about 90 percent of the veterans at this home served in World War Two, the others served in Korea, but the Veterans Home is starting to see some Vietnam veterans show up on their waiting list, too.  So they advise any veteran wanting to live here to call them.

"A lot of people want to be on the list just in case something happens," said Donna Reynolds, Director of Admissions at the Missouri Veterans Home.

Donna Reynolds says veterans who need a light amount of care often are admitted first.  However, she says when you need the care the most, the veterans home often does not have a spot open.  The state only allows the home to have a certain amount of patients who need full assistance live here, and those who already live in the home, take precedence.

"I would definitely be on the list.  We call every six months, and you can turn it down each time, but you should probably stay on the list to secure a spot," said Reynolds.

With Vietnam veterans starting to show up on that list, the staff here thinks the state will have to allow the Missouri Veterans home to expand their services and their building, sooner rather than later.