2012-06-22 / Editorial/Opinion

Let’s Utilize The Neponsit Home For Vets

Statistics show that one of five service members returns from Afghanistan, Iraq and other military venues with traumatic brain injuries, a startling statistic on its own. Just as startling, however, is the fact that there are not sufficient state-of-theart treatment facilities to adequately address the problem. A private foundation, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, revealed last week that it would pour $25 million into developing two treatment centers to treat both traumatic brain injury and psychiatric disorders of those returning from deployment in the war zones of the world. So, there is a need for treatment centers, a group willing to build them and, right here in Rockaway, we have a decaying building that was once the Neponsit Home, and would be perfect for a treatment center. A marriage made in heaven? Perhaps. There is some indication that the Neponsit community, which has urged million dollar homes for the site, would be opposed to such a plan, but we do not think the decision should lie in the hands of any homeowners group. Our public officials should get to work and find the right buttons to push to make the Neponsit facility productive again while serving as a beacon for our former servicemen and women who need treatment for problems they developed in making America a safer place to be.

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