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GCU student-veterans pay visit to senior veterans

A Grand Canyon State University student sings hymns with a senior veteran resident at the Arizona State Veterans Home. (KTAR Photo/Mark Remillard)

PHOENIX -- Some of Arizona's most senior veterans received a special visit Tuesday from some of their fellow service men and women who are students at Grand Canyon University.

About 50 students from the school, comprised mostly of former or active military members, came to the Arizona State Veterans Home to play cards, hear stories, sing hymns and spend time with the senior home residents.

Bart Burkert, executive vice president at GCU and a former solider in the Army Reserve, said it's a great sign of respect to those senior's sacrifices and dedications.

"What the veterans have done for us, and I say that for everyone, is extremely important, so we just want to make their lives for a few hours a little bit better," he said.

Burkert said the students have been coming to the Arizona State Veterans Home to meet with the seniors for several years.

"I think they're excited to see us and more importantly, we're excited to see them every year," he said.

Amid recent allegations of neglect and failed care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital, Burkert said the visits can also help the residents relax and take their mind of their health issues.

"If we can take a few hours out of their day to forget about the day to day struggles...we win," said Burkert.

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About the Author


A southern California native, Mark Remillard began working in radio in 2010 while in community college as a host of late night and weekend programming for publicly supported 88.5 FM KSBR. While working through college, Mark also interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640, where he began his work in journalism. Mark moved to Arizona in August 2012 to finish his bachelor's degree at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and graduated in August 2014. Mark began working as a reporter for KTAR in November 2012.

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