'Home Away From Home' for Veterans

Veterans Guest House gets an addition to add capacity. Ribbon cutting at 2 PM
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RENO, Nev. -- For veterans and their family members going under medical treatment, it's not easy and it's certainly not cheap to get medical care. Some even opt to sleep in their cars because they can't afford other places to stay. The community came together and built the Veteran's Guest House, a place where they can ease their minds for a few days to focus on their health.

Richard Baker served in Vietnam for seven years, but now he's spending most of his time going in and out of the hospital.

"I found out that i had some rare blood disease that I did not have before I went into service," he said.

He has kidney failure and has to drive about 90 minutes to get to Reno for his dialysis. During the treatment, his family had to stay close by to take care of him.

"Me and my mom are taking a class and he's doing his dialysis while we got to take the class to do it for him at home," Jennifer Baker, his daughter said.

The travel time, medical fees and housing can add up, making it nearly impossible for families in a pinch.

"If this place wasn't here, we'd have to rent some motel or the cheapest we could possibly find and do what we could to eat," Richard said.

The Veteran's Guest House was designed to provide a temporary home for veterans and their families while they go through treatment.

"They travel from long miles, they're tired, and know that they have a warm bed and a meal to get to is important," Linda Grace, program director said.

Grace says it's the only one of its kind in the country, where people can heal and find common ground with their fellow patriots.

"We've all just sat around in the living room and kitchen and we'd just talk," Jennifer said. It will be sad to go home because you meet such nice people.

"[Veterans] come back here at night and you know it's someone to share with to understand what they're going through, you know it's very difficult sometimes," Grace said.

The Veteran's Guest House doesn't receive any federal funding so it needs some help. News Talk 780 KOH will be hosting the 10th Annual Radiothon for them Saturday, March 2 at the Atlantis Casino Resort from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since it's opening in 1994, this house has provided over 40,000 guest nights for these veterans. To patients like Richard, it's been a home away from home.

"If it wasn't for this place, oh man, this is heaven-sent."

To make a donation, contact the Veteran's Guest House at (775) 324-6958.