Renovation honors veterans

WARREN — With many veterans as residents, Washington Square Health Care Center transformed an entrance area into a new living room and dining area, as well as barbershop and courtyard.

While the room honors veterans, it will be used by all residents of the care center, 202 Washington St. NW.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week with veterans taking part.

Theresa Bartlett, CEO / administrator of Washington Square, said veterans of all wars are to be recognized for their service.

She said some of the veterans took part in the Vietnam War, which was not a popular war.

“This group came back home from a war that was not popular. They came back to very hard times and a rough environment. I am proud of all the veterans and have met many of them here. These are a group of veterans who are to be recognized for what they did and for their service,” Bartlett said.

State Rep. Glenn Holmes, D-Girard, state Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta mand county commissioner Frank Fuda attended, bringing proclamations recognizing the care center for what it does for veterans.

O’Brien presented a U.S. flag to the center.

Carol Gemik of of the Ladies Auxiliary of Newton Falls Post 3332 presented a check to be used for a flag pole in memory of her father, Alexander Kish, a Korean War veteran who served from 1950 to 1954 in the 196th Infantry Division Heavy Mortar Co. The new flag will be placed on it.

Holmes said Washington Square is a VA provider committed to the veterans. “This is an important moment to celebrate a vital group of people,” he said.

Bartlett said the 1,400-square-foot lobby at the northern section of the building will provide a place for residents to socialize, eat and also go to the barbershop.

“We have so many veterans who live here. It is important to know there are benefits available to help our veterans,” she said.

Bartlett said Washington Square is the only VA provider in the county.

Paul Zelany, a World War II veteran, said he likes the new living room where he often goes to visit and spend time with others.

Bartlett said there is a large courtyard area with benches dedicated to veterans with future plans to expand with additional patio area. The courtyard can be seen from the living room.