Space transformed for younger veterans
By Angie Landsverk
A former computer room in the Marden Center at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King is being transformed into a day room.
For now, it is being called the PTSD Day Room.
PTSD is an acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A group of veterans will eventually choose a name for the space.
The room is expected to be completed by the fall, said Nicholas Peskie, who is the donations specialist at the veterans home.
He said it will be a place for younger veterans to relax and also gather for camaraderie.
“Vietnam veterans want different things than what the Korean veterans and the World War II veterans wanted,” Peskie said.
The room has lots of windows and includes a view of Rainbow Lake.
Peskie said the transformation of the space from a computer room to a day room is about halfway into the process.
The day room area will include video games, a large-screen television and eventually, a tiki bar.
The 60-inch Vizio Smart TV and its sound bar and gadgets arrived, and most other items for the room have been ordered or are in the process of being ordered, Peskie said.
The U.S. Army Reserves Appleton-based 395th Ordnance Company made the large-screen television possible.
“The Ordnance Company is the donor, with assistance,” said Dave Willeford, president of the Derksen Company, in Omro.
His daughter, Sgt. Nikita Willeford, as well as Sgt. First Class Daniel Fristsch, joined him in presenting the donation to Peskie last Thursday, July 21.
Nikita Willeford and Fritsch are both members of the company.
“They approached us, and they wanted to help the veterans,” Peskie said.
He noted the Marden Center was built 100 percent by donations and said 5 percent of the home’s activities are covered by the state budget.
The other 95 percent cost of activities there are funded through donations.
With close to 700 members at the veterans home, Peskie said they all have different tastes and hobbies.
The veterans home wants to offer them a variety of things, he said.
The tiki bar off of the new day room is expected to be completed sometime next summer, Peskie said.