Locks or no locks: That is the question. That question brings on another question: Why should there be any question about this issue at all?
Every member here at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King is aware that no door is locked in such a way that they cannot be opened from the inside without a key. No one can get locked inside their room. All they have to do is turn the handle to open their door from the inside. So, this is not a question of resident safety.
This brings me to another question: How many people live in homes without locks on the front and rear doors? Homeowners usually keep their doors locked because they wish to protect their belongings when they are gone and protect their privacy when they are home. People staying in hotel rooms also lock their doors.
The residents at the Wisconsin Veterans Home are a cross section of our great state. They include retired business owners. truck drivers, farmers, tradesmen, teachers and clergy. Like most of us they have always locked their doors, even if they lived in rural areag, Here in King, we have many veterans sharing a room with their wives. They are not happy about losing their privacy, nor do they want just anyone strolling down the hall to walk in uninvited. If they happen to be away from their rooms, an intruder might decide to look around and walk off with some item or valuable. Should a couple decide on a furlough for a week, their possessions would be there for a thorough review by unauthorized persons. For a woman in a single room, it could be very unnerving to be unable to dress without a lock on her door.
It would seem quite possible for a non-member to gain access to a building and, if the locks are removed, gain access to rooms. Finally, some members suffer from dementia and may enter rooms and cause loss and damages of to the occupants. property. Who will be responsible for stolen or damaged property??
The members have full confidence in the staff and are certain they will receive only the finest professional care no matter the type of emergency. The order for removing our locks came down from the office of Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs, without any member participation. We will be stripped of every vestige of privacy and self respect. We have become non-entities without the rights we fought while serving our country. This action is a despicable display of political power.