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Nonprofit plans Nebraska home for combat-wounded veterans

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: January 8, 2018

OMAHA, Neb. — A veterans and family support group is planning a residential home in eastern Nebraska for combat-wounded veterans who have no one to provide day-to-day care.

Wounded Warriors Family Support, the Omaha-based national nonprofit founded to support families of those wounded or killed in combat, has begun planning the 24-bed facility. A 10-acre parcel has been donated on the north side of Omaha, contingent on the group raising the money needed.

University of Nebraska Regent and former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub, who serves on the group's board, said he's confident the organization will be able to raise an estimated $6 million to $10 million. The money would cover construction and equipment costs and fund an endowment.

"This is an exciting, unique living accommodation for a very special group of men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country," Daub told the Omaha World-Herald .

The home would be designed for men and women who need help with daily activities, such as cooking, bathing and dressing. It would not provide skilled nursing, although the group wants to make provisions for such care.

The alternatives for disabled veterans with no family support are assisted living centers and veterans homes, which officials said tend to be populated by older residents and those without the same combat experiences. All four Nebraska veterans homes usually have waiting lists.

Retired Marine Corps Col. John Folsom, who founded the group, got the idea for the home after he toured a military hospital and saw a brain-injured soldier being aided by his sister and mother. Folsom wondered what would happen to the wounded man when family members could no longer care for him.

The home will be known as Dunham House, named in honor of Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham. He was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for smothering a grenade with his body to protect fellow Marines in Iraq in 2005.

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