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A Terrific 2020: Services for veterans thrive with new VA clinic and more
Aberdeen American News - 12/31/2020
Dec. 31—There was a lot of good news for local veterans in 2020.
A new Veterans Affairs clinic opened on the east side of town, a veterans ranch near Warner continued to make strides and offer services and a fundraising campaign to build a new veterans center got started.
All three endeavors provide — or will eventually provide — services to those who have served in the military.
The biggest development was the new veterans center at at 3307 10th Ave. S.E., which is behind Target. It has approximately 10,000 square feet, compared to the approximate 8,100 square feet in the former Eighth Avenue location, which was rented space.
Once it opened in summer, the new clinic offered a much larger waiting room and all services on a single floor. There are no elevators or stairs, making things easier for people with disabilities.
The clinic operates on a patient-aligned care teams model, meaning teams of medical professionals meet and work collaboratively with patients.
"We go to the veteran instead of the veteran coming to us in terms of moving," Peggy Gebur, nurse manager at the clinic, said shortly after it opened. "So they go into a room and they are there and if they need to talk to the social worker, the pharmacist, they come to them."
Because of COVID-19, the clinic offered more telehealth services and video-to-home care this year.
Plans are also in place for a 15,000 square-foot veterans center that's estimated to cost $5.2 million and will be built on North Roosevelt Street.
Aberdeen Area Veterans has started the veterans appeal portion of fundraising efforts. That's being led by Brig. Gen. Thomas Croymans, who retired after 43 years of service. He's a graduate of Wilmot High School and now lives in Aberdeen.
The overall capital campaign is expected to last three years.
The Aberdeen Area Veterans Memorial Center will be a joint use facility designed to be the hub of all activity and services for local veterans. Local Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, 40 & 8 and Marine Corps League groups collectively form Aberdeen Area Veterans. The group has no state or federal affiliations, which will keep the center privately owned.
For more information, visit aberdeenvets.org online or call 605-626-1470.
The DTOM 22/0 Foundation continues to offer services at a veterans ranch just north of Warner. The mission is "to provide a safe place for healing and recovery for military service members, veterans, and their families while encouraging engaging, and positively impacting their lives through hope, faith, and family activities, and helping them learn to live again with purpose."
DTOM stands for Don't Tread on Me. At the onset, the number 22 represented the number of veterans who committed suicide every day. Zero represents the goal of no suicides.
The DTOM 22/0 Foundation won the 2020 Bridge Builders ABBY Award given by the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce.
With his work the establish the ranch, Chris Reder has become a top local advocate for veterans.
One of the service the ranch offers veterans is horse therapy, a holistic treatment option to help with post traumatic stress, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and trauma.
For more information on the ranch, visit dtom220.org online or call 605-725-3866.
(c)2020 the American News (Aberdeen, S.D.)
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