Rooted in History

Established just after the Civil War, the Milwaukee VA Soldiers Home is a 90-plus acre district that rests on the grounds of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. The Soldiers Home’s recuperative village and landscape were designed to be a place of refuge for Civil War soldiers and help ease their transition back to civilian life. One of only 43 National Historic Landmarks in Wisconsin, it contains some of the oldest and most historic buildings in the VA system.

The birthplace of Veteran care

In April of 1864 a group of local women created a temporary home in downtown Milwaukee to service Veterans with meals and medical care. The women raised $100,000 – a staggering amount of money in the 1860s – and obtained a state charter for construction of a permanent facility.

"Care for him who shall have borne the battle"

In March of 1865, a month before his assassination, President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to create a national system of homes for disabled veterans. It included his second inaugural address with the famous appeal to the nation to “care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

Every hero deserves a home

The group of local women turned over the funds they had raised to the federal government and the Milwaukee Soldiers Home opened in 1867 – one of the original three such facilities in the nation.