by: Jim Ragsdale

With old vets in wheelchairs looking on, Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and other dignitaries officially dedicated a new nursing facility and adult day care center at the Minnesota Veterans Home in south Minneapolis on Wednesday.

"We all know who are the distinguished guests," said Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester. "It's the people who wore the uniform."

The officials dedicated what is known as Building 19 of the 125-year-old veterans home complex in south Minneapolis. It is described as a state of the art nursing care facility, with 100 private rooms as well as a greenhouse and barber and beauty shops.

In addition, the new Adult Day Center will be the second in the country to offer services for those veterans who want to live at home. It also provides respite care for caregivers.

Dayton, Klobuchar and 3rd District U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen helped dedicate the facilities, praising the federal-state cooperation needed to build it. The new facility is part of a long-term rebuilding plan to improve facilities and care for the state's aging vets.

"Here, every day is veterans day," said Michael Gallucci, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Veterans Affairs.