Community, elected officials break ground on Bemidji Veterans Home

Featured photo from left: MN Senator Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids), Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (R-MN’s 7th), MN Representative Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook), Congressman Pete Stauber (R-MN’s 8th), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), MN Senator Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids), MN Representative Matt Bliss (R-Pennington), MN House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), and MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke.

Veterans, stakeholders, and elected officials on local, state and federal levels participated in the Bemidji Veterans Home Groundbreaking Ceremony Thursday morning.

Prayers in English and Ojibwe were given before an array of speakers presented, including US Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congressman Pete Stauber and Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach.

Klobuchar said this veterans home is essential in this part of the state, given the high numbers of rural Minnesotans and Native Americans who enlist in the armed forces

Stauber highlighted the work done over the years to bring the veterans home here, but there is still work to be done on behalf of veterans.

Fischbach also noted the years of work done at the local level, with a sobering statistic.

The home will include 72 residential rooms divided into four wings and will be for veterans, their spouses, and Gold Star parents who meet the clinical need for skilled nursing care.

The Bemidji Veterans Home will be across the street from Neilson Place on donated Sanford Health campus land, and it is expected to open as soon as June 2023.

The color guard stood out in the rain during an hour of speeches.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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