MONTE VISTA — Aaron Termain has seen first-hand the life of a veteran and recently expressed amazement at what the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center (CVCLC) at Homelake has done — and is doing — for veterans.
As division director of Veterans Community Living Centers in Colorado, Lt. Col Termain, (USA Ret.) retired after 29 years of service, in this role, he oversees the state’s five VCLCs and said the centers are operating in support of medical care, therapies and life needs of veteran, their families and Gold Star families.
Speaking at the March 28 meeting of the Homelake Historic Preservation and Restoration Foundation (HHPRF), Termain spoke of the long history of the VCLC at Homelake.
The foundation began as an advisory board in 1984 and became a foundation in 2005.
“If you haven’t read the history of Homelake, please get a copy,” he told some 30 persons at the annual HHPRF meeting, dinner and fundraiser. “Throughout this narrative, I lost track of how man times the community was mentioned. I read, ‘the citizens of Monte Vista did/pledged/ built/raised money/ dug wells — It was very apparent that the members of this community were not willing to wait on some government entity.
“They took it upon themselves to support this home. Whatever it took. Whatever was needed for more than a century,” Termain said, “and I can see that same attitude holds true today.”
He observed, the Homelake Veterans Living Center has been successfully fulfilling this mission since Oct. 30, 1891.
State Sen. Adair Wilson “snuck in some legislation to a bill that created the Colorado Soldiers and Sailors Home over 125 years ago.”
“Caring for our veterans is not a new concept,” he said. “It goes back to March 4, 1865. President Lincoln in his second address said, and I paraphrase, ‘With malice towards none, with charity for all, let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up our nation’s words; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, for his widow and his orphan.’”
He continued, “The state veterans home programs date back to August of 1888 through a congressional act during the reconciliation after the end of hostilities of the Civil War.”
Homelake is one of 153 homes across the United States that provide more than 30,000 beds. Termain said the state veteran home program is the largest provider of long-term care for veterans “and our very own Homelake Living Center was one of the very first.”
“But this home — and our other four homes — do much more than care for our veterans and families. Our homes maintain the trust, faith and confidence of those mothers and fathers who send their children to serve by illustrating that we will provide to them the best care and support that the state of Colorado can offer.”
Speaking of the U.S. Armed Forces, he said, “as an all-volunteer force, the sovereignty and security of our nation depends on earning and sustaining the trust, faith and confidence of our American families.”
“The source of this nation’s strength comes from the Courage of our families. It is their love, nurturing and support that allows our military to be able to do the things they do in defense of this nation.”