KING - A Korean War veteran living at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, near Waupaca, Don Schwoch has kept watch on an expanding pit on campus.
"They started over there," the army veteran said Tuesday, pointing at a construction site. "They just kept working this way, and they're just doing a fantastic job."
On Tuesday, Schwoch had high-profile visitors from Madison.
"Taking time out now to grab a shovelful of dirt, I guess, and dedicate it," he said.
The new John R. Moses Hall, under construction since last fall, is named for a Wisconsinite and World War II veteran. The Wisconsin Veterans Home is calling the skilled nursing facility the biggest transformation to its campus in its 130 years.
Gov. Tony Evers helped break ground on a new $80 million, 192-bed skilled nursing facility on the King campus.
"We have to honor the service that they did, and this is one way of doing it," Evers said. "This home, and all of our Wisconsin veteran homes, are the crux of what we do for veterans in the state of Wisconsin."
Veterans Affairs Sec.-designee Mary Kolar knows state veterans are getting older and often need specialized care. This facility will open in 2021.
"We needed this new facility to be able to maintain our five-star level of care, the quality of care that we provide to veterans and their families," Kolar said.
Schwoch himself celebrated Tuesday. At its local meeting, the American Legion honored his membership.
"I've been with the Legion now for 25 years," he said.
He and the Legion will mark that milestone with a souvenir.
The Department of Veterans Affairs gave him one of the golden shovels from Tuesday's groundbreaking.
Story By: Ben Meyer