Missouri

Vicky Hartzler works for defense contractors, not Missouri

Lindsey Simmons

Lindsey Simmons

Facebook/Lindsey Simmons

I counted the doctor’s footsteps as she left the room, gauging how much time I had before she returned. My sweaty fingers pulled out my cellphone and I quickly tried to take video of the room and my growing pregnant belly — but I miscalculated. My doctor stepped back inside. I felt my face grow red.

“I’m alone,” my voice cracked as my doctor sat down and held my free hand. “I’m alone. My husband is deployed — I just don’t want him to miss any of this. He won’t return until our baby is born.”

Without missing a beat, she grabbed my phone, turned the ultrasound back on and helped me record a video of my baby sucking his thumb, growing big and strong. I sent it to my husband immediately.

There is nothing easy about being a military family. It certainly is not easy for the service member, but the toll it takes on the spouses and children left at home wafts into conversation as whispers that are soon forgotten.

During my sixth month of pregnancy, my husband was sent to a forward location in Syria, where it was difficult to maintain a regular supply chain. He relied upon the assistance of local Kurdish allies for necessities such as food. Not long after, pro-Syria militants, including Russian mercenaries, attacked American soldiers in the region, including my husband’s unit. It was the deadliest battle in Syria at the time. No American lives were lost, but hundreds of pro-Syrian fighters were killed.

Because of the strength of the U.S.-Kurdish alliance, my husband returned home safely — and earlier than expected, just in time for the birth of our son, Jace.

Not long after my husband’s return, we watched the president of the United States not only

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Gov. Parson orders external review of Missouri Veterans Homes

Gov. Parson instructed Missouri Veterans Commission Chairman Timothy Noonan to conduct a rapid, independent, external review of all seven Missouri Veterans Homes

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson has ordered an external review of all seven of the state’s veteran homes and their COVID-19 operations.

The order comes after four veterans have died in Missouri Veterans Homes.

According to a release from the governor’s office, data that was presented on Thursday in a briefing with Gov. Parson raised concerns about how well Missouri Veterans Homes are uniformly and systematically operating to prevent and, if necessary, contain COVID-19 outbreaks among their staff and residents.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the deaths in four of our Missouri Veterans Homes,” Governor Parson said. “As a veteran myself, I care a great deal about the quality of care our veterans receive at the Veterans Homes in our state and have raised an alarm bell more than once when I felt we as a state weren’t meeting the standard of care I believe they are owed.”

“We have been fighting COVID-19 for over seven months now, and we have learned a lot about how to fight the virus since March,” Governor Parson continued. “The recent sudden positive case growth among staff and residents in our Veterans Homes, and most importantly, the tragic loss of lives of veterans in our care are, in my opinion, unacceptable.”

Gov. Parson instructed Missouri Veterans Commission Chairman Timothy Noonan to conduct a rapid, independent, external review of all seven Missouri Veterans Homes.

The external review will assess their performance and identify what steps, if any, should be taken to improve their management of COVID-19.

Gov. Parson’s office said he also directed the deployment of the new Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests to Missouri Veterans Homes

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Missouri governor orders external review of state’s veteran homes regarding COVID-19 operations after 4 deaths

Missouri Governor Mike Parson has ordered an external review of all seven of the state’s veteran homes and their COVID-19 operations.



Mike Parson wearing a suit and tie


© Provided by KSDK-TV St. Louis


The order comes after four veterans have died in Missouri Veterans Homes.

According to a release from the governor’s office, data that was presented on Thursday in a briefing with Gov. Parson raised concerns about how well Missouri Veterans Homes are uniformly and systematically operating to prevent and, if necessary, contain COVID-19 outbreaks among their staff and residents.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the deaths in four of our Missouri Veterans Homes,” Governor Parson said. “As a veteran myself, I care a great deal about the quality of care our veterans receive at the Veterans Homes in our state and have raised an alarm bell more than once when I felt we as a state weren’t meeting the standard of care I believe they are owed.”

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“We have been fighting COVID-19 for over seven months now, and we have learned a lot about how to fight the virus since March,” Governor Parson continued. “The recent sudden positive case growth among staff and residents in our Veterans Homes, and most importantly, the tragic loss of lives of veterans in our care are, in my opinion, unacceptable.”

Gov. Parson instructed Missouri Veterans Commission Chairman Timothy Noonan to conduct a rapid, independent, external review of all seven Missouri Veterans Homes.

The external review will assess their performance and identify what steps, if any, should be taken to improve their management of COVID-19.

Gov. Parson’s office said he also directed the deployment of the new Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests to Missouri Veterans Homes to support immediate comprehensive testing of

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Parson calls for review of Missouri Veterans Homes after deaths of residents from COVID-19 | Politics

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Missouri Governor Mike Parson is calling for a review of coronavirus prevention procedures in the state’s seven veterans homes after the deaths of residents in four of the homes and a spike in cases.

“Data presented to me yesterday in a briefing raised concerns regarding how well Missouri Veterans Homes are uniformly and systematically operating to prevent and, if necessary, contain COVID-19 outbreaks among their staff and residents,” Parson said Friday in a Facebook post.

The homes will also receive 2,400 rapid COVID-19 tests, the governor said.

The Mt. Vernon Veterans Home in southwest Missouri confirmed its first case of COVID-19 the day after Parson visited the facility on September 15. Parson tested positive on September 23, but his staff members do not believe he became infected during the visit. The home has now reported 24 infections among veterans and 12 among staff, according to the Missouri Veterans Commission.

This week, the St. James Veterans Home in Phelps County reported 25 active cases among veterans and seven among staff.

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