Between Jackson and Lansing near the town of Eaton Rapids is the VFW National Home. Designated as a Michigan historical landmark the home has been taking care of veteran’s families for nearly a century.
In 1923 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) initiated a plan to build a national home for the families of deceased and disabled American veterans. The following year a Jackson, Michigan, cattleman made his Ingham County ranch available for the site of the home. A complex of buildings was erected on the property. Since the facility provided homes for families outside of Michigan, it received support from veterans groups across the country, who donated money for the construction of “cottage” residences. The VFW sought to keep families intact, furnish a homelife similar to that enjoyed by other American families, and teach self-sufficiency and independence. This remains the only privately funded home for veterans’ children and grandchildren in the United States that is national in scope.
When the Veterans of Foreign Wars announced that it would build a national home for the widows and orphan children of veterans, support poured in from across the country. Initial funding was created following the 1922 Yankees-Giants World Series. Umpires halted the tied second game due to darkness. A controversy resulted, which inspired the baseball commissioner to donate the series’ first game’s proceeds to the nation’s war veterans, and the VFW received twenty thousand dollars. Between 1925 and 1930 residential “cottages” were constructed with funds from state veterans organizations. Each house was designed as an individual home. These houses created a neighborhood environment for their residents. The National Home honors the contributions and sacrifices of America’s veterans.
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