DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Community Living Center at the Dayton Veterans Affairs is a vital resource for our local veterans that specializes in both short-term and long-term care.

This resource is available to anyone who has served our country, and as the doctors, nurses, and veterans will all tell you, the facility goes beyond medical care.

“It’s a Godsend,” James Enos, a resident at the Dayton VA Community Living Center said.

When James Enos arrived at the Dayton VA hospital, he was essentially unable to walk. After receiving a wheelchair and enduring six months of therapy, he secured a permanent home at the Community Living Center.

“We definitely evaluate their needs and whether or not this is the correct level of care for them,” Sandi Smart, chief nurse at the CLC explained.

In addition to physical and occupational therapies, the CLC also provides care for veterans with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Robert Morrison, the chief of geriatrics and extended care services, says veterans have options when choosing a care facility, but the CLC is a special place.

“If you’re at a community nursing home, you’re just another patient,” Dr. Morrison said. “If you’re here, you’re somebody special because you’re a veteran.”

Glenn Christian, a veteran of the U.S. Army, is experiencing that firsthand. He has been receiving care at the CLC since May.

“They’re doing everything they can to help me get my leg healed up and ready to receive a prosthetic so I can walk out of here,” he explained. “And once I got here, they started making me feel like ‘Welcome home, we’re going to get you better and get you out of here.’”

The Community Living Center has 80 long-term residents and 30 to 40 short-term residents. They say the sense of camaraderie is something they can’t find anywhere else.

“They’re like my brothers. We try to help each other and spur each other on,” Enos said.

The nurses and doctors also acknowledge the importance of caring for this special group of men and women. And some of the staff are veterans themselves.

“They served our country,” Dr. Morrison said. “They fought for us to preserve our freedom and it’s the least we can do to take care of these veterans.”

“It is a blessing to be part of this, to be part of a family and a community, and I’ve been here now for eight years and there truly isn’t a better place to serve and give back to our veterans,” Smart said.

Veterans go through a screening process if they would like to receive care at the CLC. For more information and resources, click here.