by Brian Manning
WALSENBURG — Three energetic young ladies work at the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Walsenburg. Kaylee Corsentino, Raynessa Leal, and Kiana Behringer are members of a group of volunteers who work to make our veterans more comfortable.
Kaylee Corsentino will be going into the 6th grade in La Veta and wants to become a nurse. Her favorite subjects are math and science. She plays volleyball, basketball, baseball and soccer. Kaylee is active in 4-H and has won Grand Champion for her goat and Showmanship for her pig.
Raynessa Leal is going into the 5th grade in La Veta and also wants to be a nurse. She plays basketball, volleyball and soccer. She likes science, reading and math, all subjects which will help her in nursing school. She is an especially energetic worker at the nursing home.
Kiana Behringer is going into the 4th grade at Peakview School in Walsenburg. She likes math and spelling and wants to go into the army and be a helicopter pilot or possibly a nurse. Maybe she could be on a medivac crew and do both. Kiana likes to play baseball and loves working with the residents.
Most of the younger volunteers have parents working in the facility. As volunteers, they must follow the same rules as the employees. These young ladies work as many hours as their schedule permits and often come in on holidays to work with the veterans.
They work in the kitchen, help in the gift shop, accompany the veterans to various places in the hospital and also go with them on walks. They also play cards and other games, do painting, help with massage therapy and help to exercise arms and hands to increase muscle tone and circulation.
The girls help with a program where cats and dogs visit the residents, and they also accompany residents to church services.
When a veteran passes away, it is difficult for the volunteers, but they are learning to accept that loss is part of life. These girls, very mature for their age, will often attend memorial services.
Kaylee, Raynessa, and Kiana are only a few of the volunteers who dedicate time and energy to bring joy into the lives of veterans at the facility.