GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – With the help of the Michigan National Guard, hundreds of staff and residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV) and the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans (DJJHV) received COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 6.The vaccination clinic at GRHV was administered by the Michigan National Guard (MING) and DJJHV was covered through the federal CVS partnership.“Taking care of and supporting our resident members at the homes is not only an honor but a duty,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Military and Veterans Affairs. “Having this vaccine available to the resident members at the homes helps ensure they are receiving quality long-term care and is central to our ‘member for life’ concept.”The combined efforts of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs (DMVA), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Kent County Health Department and other stakeholders ensured that both GRHV and DJJHV were included in the first group to receive its vaccine allocation.“It was truly a team effort getting the vaccine to our homes,” said Anne Zerbe, executive director, Michigan Veterans Homes. “All skilled nursing facilities are prioritized because the resident population is more vulnerable. We wanted to make sure to get the vaccine as early as possible to minimize the opportunity for our residents and staff to potentially get the virus.”While DJJHV received its vaccination clinic through the partnership with CVS, a different approach was necessary at GRVH. The natural relationship between the MING and the homes, which are both branches of the DMVA, was critical.“The National Guard did a walk-through and laid out the vaccination plan earlier this week,” said Tracey Nelson, administrator, GRHV. “This is the brightest light of hope we have had.”Nelson said the vaccinations “will help us get back to a normal way of life, as it has been a long lonely road" for residents who have been isolated in their rooms since October.Every resident and employee who wanted to receive the vaccination was able to get it on Jan. 6. The GRVH vaccinated 202 staff and 108 residents. The DJJHV vaccinated 165 staff and 105 residents.“The veterans who reside at the homes served our country, and now we are participating in protecting and safeguarding them through the COVID mission,” said U.S. Army Capt. Geoffrey Miller, 273 Regional Support Group, Michigan Army National Guard, and officer in charge of the response at the two homes.More than 80 members of the Michigan National Guard are mobilized to support the homes.For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDC