The Soldiers Home in Milwaukee that was built for Civil War veterans has been declared a National Treasure.
For more than 140 years, programs at the cluster of buildings known as the Soldier's Home have been serving veterans. But some of the buildings are in decay and last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation called the Soldiers Home endangered. Now, the trust calls Soldiers Home a National Treasure. That means the trust still considers the home threatened, but is trying to protect the home and promote its history. The new designation is good news to Milwaukee-based Vietnam vet Howard Hinterthuer. He says he hopes fundraising gets a boost, so a renovated Soldiers Home could help Iraq and Afghanistan vets make a better transition to civilian life, "The military is good at making people soldiers, but our government is not as diligent in training people not to be soldiers."
Hinterthuer says he knows the federal government spends a lot of money on health care at the newer VA hospital near the Soldiers Home. And he says some repairs are being made at the home. But he says the unique intact campus of the Soldiers Home is a historic treasure.