MT. VERNON, Mo. — Some local veterans got a special visit Thursday morning.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson made a visit to honor those at the Mount Vernon Veterans Home.

One of the ways he plans to continue honoring our state’s military heroes is by investing millions of dollars into Veteran homes across the state.

“To be able to do capital improvements to allow the Veterans homes in the state, along with staff shortages, try to address that issue, how we can do that better, and really just make more occupancy for veterans, trying to figure out how we can add more to them. So, a lot of challenges to that, but at $52.6 million is what we invested this year, we really think it’s going to be a great opportunity and I think you get to see some of the first stages of it here in Mount Vernon, you know, you got a brand-new roof on this facility,” said Governor Mike Parson, State of Missouri.

During his time at the Veterans Home, the Governor also recognized the facility’s employees who worked hard during the covid-19 pandemic.

“To make sure we’re trying to build a bench per say. Whether that’s law enforcement, whether that’s healthcare, whether that’s education, trying to build that up, and we’re making some strides. We’re never made before in all that, so we just got to keep building, we got to make sure everybody knows it’s a good job to work at a Veterans home. It’s a rewarding job and we want you to come here and go to work for us,” said Governor Parson.

Chris Cendroski, a maintenance worker at the Veterans Home, detected the virus in the home’s wastewater system early in the pandemic.

Thursday morning he received the 2021 Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity.

“For the past two years, we’ve been taking samples out of the sewer to catch COVID out of the sewer. At times we were doing it twice a week, we are now doing it once a week. That was the job to do and that’s what they wanted us to do, so that’s what I did, you know, and I just took it on myself when we first started to do it because I knew it’d get done. I wasn’t even expecting to even get an award of anything so, yeah, it’s great,” said Cendroski.