Residential Treatment Center for Iraq War Veterans Proposed
A central Massachusetts veterans group hopes to build what is believed to be the country's first residential treatment and education facility for injured veterans and their families. The center would be built on land donated by Mt. Wachusett community college in Gardner. Veterans in the program would stay in one of twenty two-bedroom cottages, recovering in the company of their family for up to two years -- while also taking college courses at government expense.
Leslie Lightfoot is a former army medic and founder of the Veterans Hospice Homestead, which is leading the project effort. As she explains in the MP3 above, she expects many of the Iraq veterans using the center would have brain injuries caused by roadside bombs. Lightfoot's group is seeking to raise about a third of the estimated $5- to $6-million needed to open the center, with the rest expected from the state and federal governments.