VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Defenders Lodge Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The VA Palo Alto Health Care System and the Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation cut the ribbon Oct. 8 to commemorate the new 34,000 square-foot Defenders Lodge, made possible through a generous donation by Lee and Penny Anderson. The new facility on the Palo Alto campus has 52 first-class private rooms and 104 beds, making it the nation’s largest free hotel for Veterans. The Lodge replaces “Hometel,” the current temporary lodging facility on campus.
The ceremony guests included philanthropist and owner of APi Group Inc., Lee Anderson; former Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson; and Mark Boal, Hollywood screenwriter of “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Following a Marine-led color guard and a powerful invocation, the crowd heard appreciative remarks including words from VAPAHCS Director Lisa Freeman who summarized the whole project with a simple math equation.
“A good night sleep, plus top medical care, minus financial stress, equals wellbeing for our Veterans. That is the reason we are here today,” said Freeman.
After cutting the ceremonial ribbon, the crowd was able to roam the halls of the new building to view the amenities, which include a large dining room, a living room with a fireplace, hotel-style rooms and full accessibility for wheelchairs. The Defenders Lodge is scheduled to be fully operational by January 2014.
More information is available on the Defenders Lodge Web page. View photos on our Facebook page.