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New and improved Veterans Center prepares to open doors

More than two years after Bainbridge’s Veterans Center was burnt to the ground from an arson, local men and women who served in the military will finally have a new refuge soon.

The Honor Sentinels organization, led by Dan West, purchased the house on West Street last September and are finally closing in on a grand opening date. The doors will open this Saturday for veterans to visit the new center and get a preview of how it looks, provide input and enjoy each other’s fellowship.

“The house was in bad shape,” West said. “We had to do a complete renovation from front to rear, top to bottom.”

The Honor Sentinels and other volunteers didn’t work on it without help. Home Depot, Stones, Daughters of the American Revolution, Parker Paint, the Bainbridge JROTC, Love our Vets, Red; Roofing, Logue Brother’s Furniture and many others lent their time, resources and money to helping get the Veterans Center in shape for visitors.

Sometimes members had to dig into their own pockets during the renovation

“It has been a good struggle,” West said. “A labor of love.”

West added they still aren’t finished. More work needs to be done to the outside of the house. But he wanted to go ahead and have it open every Saturday from now until Christmas, from 1-5 p.m. Anybody active duty and past duty is welcome, all they need to do is bring a VA card or military ID.

West believes a Veterans Center is crucial in every community because of the support it gives men and women who have served.

“When you have a veteran that has gone through combat and PTSD issues, things of that nature, it’s just good psychologically when you can come to a place for fellowship with brothers and sisters in arms,” West said. “Talk through issues they are having without having to worry about being judged.”

The Veterans Center is located at 818 S. West St. in Bainbridge.