With all of the recent significant negativity surrounding the Veterans Administration and its legion of failures, please allow me to call your attention to an extraordinary example of how correctly to deliver benefits to our veterans of military service. At the outset, I acknowledge that the missions of a hospital and that of a nursing home are not the same. I suggest that the major difference resulting in the superb care furnished by the Southwest Louisiana Veterans’ Home in Jennings versus that projected nationally is precisely due to the reality that the services are rendered by local people, primarily to local veterans.

My wife, Sharon, and I have a 4-year-old golden retriever, Stryker, qualified as a therapy dog by Pets for Health. Generally, we visit the SLVH every other week. Everybody at the home knows Stryker’s name; ours, not so sure.

The facility is extraordinary in every sense of the word. Opened in 2004, the facility has 156 beds. It is maintained in an exceptional manner. It is immaculately clean. Literally, you could eat off of the floor. It has a 4½-acre stocked fishing pond, a wonderful, state-of-the-art library, etc.

All of the above is demonstrable, but SLVH’s primary point as a model for all others is the personnel rendering care to our veterans. The assembly, an incomparable staff of qualified, caring personnel, delivers service with efficiency, professionalism and competency but, most importantly, with genuine affection and good humor.

I am so sick of Louisiana being categorized at the bottom of most important lists. Truly we have a gem in Jennings. I invite you to visit. I guarantee that your chest will swell with pride for what we, Louisiana citizens, have at SLVH.

Patrick D. McCarthy

certified public accountant