WWII vet denied relocation last year finally goes home

WWII veteran's wish comes true

MINNEAPOLIS - You might remember the story of George Vandersluis and his yearning for home.

KARE 11 spoke to the 100-year-old World War II veteran about a year and half ago when he wanted to move from the Minneapolis veterans home to one in Fresno, California. That's where he spent much of his life and where his kids and grandkids live.

But the state of California wouldn't allow him to get on a waiting list until he was a resident for six months. 

"Right is right. There's no reason you should deny me that. I spent more years there than I have here,” he told KARE 11 back then.

But now his daughter-in-law says he's finally going home.

"Here we are, a year and half later and it is happening,” said Roxanne Vandersluis. “We just added him to our utility bills and that qualified him.”

That put him on the waiting list where he’s been for about a year. 

"He was pretty excited,” she said. “He gets kind of giddy.”

Vandersluis first left his home in Minneapolis in his early 20’s to join the Marines. He's one of the few survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack still alive.

"I was aboard a light cruiser,” he said.

He's been back in Minnesota now for several years because there was not a VA facility able to care for him close to his California home nearly a decade ago. And since his sister still lived here, it seemed like a good secondary option.

But she passed away a couple years ago and there was not a lot of family still here, except for the staff at the veterans home who have fallen in love with him.

"He's going to be missed here,” she said.

So now he's flying to California next week where his heart has always been and now he will be too.


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