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Moving Day for Vets

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) We followed the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center as they moved from their location down the street to Mays Island. Theyre just the latest part of a $22 million effort to return the building to its original purpose, serving our veterans.

At the Veterans Welcome Center in Cedar Rapids, its moving day.

We're extremely excited, said Iowa Veterans Welcome Center President Roger Wiest. We can't wait to get there. Today's the day.

Lending a hand, free of charge, is Built by Pros.

"Built by Pros is an organization built up of other unions that come together and try to help organizations like this out, said Ironworkers Local 89s Seth Gorman.

And among them is Adam Williams.

"It's definitely for a good cause, said Williams, a veteran of the Marine Corps. We definitely need more places like this."

Places that give vets a chance to kick back, unwind and maybe talk about their time in the military, which only a few others could understand.

"It's like finding a brother you never knew you had, said Williams.

"With less than one-percent of the population having served in the military, they need to find their people, said Midwest Military Outreachs John Mikelson.

This is the kind of thing Veterans Memorial Building was always intended for.

"City offices were actually kind of an afterthought and were really one of the smallest tenants, said the Executive Director for the Veterans Memorial Commission Mike Jager.

With the 2008 flood forcing everyone out and triggering a massive renovation, now theres a chance to start over.

"It really bespeaks of a community, the emphasis and the honor that we place on the service of our nation's veterans, said Jager.

All possible thanks to a little charity, a lot of elbow grease, and an overflowing river.

"Serendipitous, I think, would be the word, said Mikelson.

The city says the goal moving forward is to still be a multipurpose facility, with a focus on serving the veteran community.
 
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