Kootenai County veterans push for Post Falls house - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Kootenai County veterans push for Post Falls house

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The area of North Idaho including Kootenai County is home to roughly 20,000 veterans. Photo: Ryan Johnson / Flickr / MGN The area of North Idaho including Kootenai County is home to roughly 20,000 veterans. Photo: Ryan Johnson / Flickr / MGN
POST FALLS, Idaho -

"We as a nation do not take good care of our veterans," says veteran and former Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin. Larkin says over the last three years, he and other members of American Legion Post 143 have been pushing for a state veteran's house.

"It's because of the growing number of veterans in Kootenai County and the five northern counties," says Larkin.

Larkin tells KHQ that Post 143 in Post Falls is one of the largest American Legion posts in the state, boasting more than 600 members. The area of North Idaho including Kootenai County is home to roughly 20,000 veterans. The nearest veteran homes are in Lewiston and Spokane. Larkin says Lewiston is a long drive for many veterans and the program is often full. Spokane, on the other hand, gives priority to Washington veterans.

"There are many veterans that are hurting and needing some type of help and this is one step toward being able to provide that help," says Post 143 member Ray Hooker, who is one of many in the area that supports the push for a new veteran house.

Larkin, Hooker and many others will learn tonight if a feasibility study conducted over the last few months will grant approval for an 88-bedroom veteran house. The study looks at area demographic, veteran amenities and if veterans are under-serviced. Larkin says it's only a band-aid and won't solve all of their problems, but it's a band-aid they need.

"It's just another step in the ladder," says Larkin.

If Post Falls is approved, there would be a four to five year waiting period before any construction would begin.

"We'll be in a stack of papers for a while, but once we get to the top they'll call us and ask if we're ready," says Larkin.

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