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Bowling Green veterans center named after Col. Robert E. Spiller

 Gov. Andy Beshear and the family of Bob Spiller unveil the Robert E. Spiller Veterans Center on Wednesday
Jacob Martin
WKU Public Radio
Gov. Andy Beshear and the family of Bob Spiller unveil the Robert E. Spiller Veterans Center on Wednesday

A long-anticipated veterans nursing home in Bowling Green will be named after a man with deep ties to the community.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky’s fifth veterans nursing home will be known as the Robert E. Spiller Veterans Center. The facility will be over 80,000 square feet and feature 60 beds for military veterans. The project will create 120 jobs in Warren County.

The governor was joined by local leaders and Kentucky Sen. Max Wise, and Rep. Michael Meredith in celebrating the legacy of Colonel Spiller and House Bill 2 which allocated $16.6 million from the state's Budget Reserve Trust Fund to complete construction of the $53 million center.

Gov. Beshear said it was through a bipartisan agreement that the bill was passed quickly.

“We signed it right on the spot, just everybody coming together in Frankfort doing the right thing,” Beshear said. “It’s an example we can take from Colonel Spiller to others who did the work, who did it because it was the right thing to do.”

Col. Spiller was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and came to Bowling Green to attend Western Kentucky University, where he met his wife. He was a 30-year military veteran and served the community in Bowling Green for over 20 years by helping veterans secure medical services before his death in 2018. He helped widows and family members to obtain benefits from the military and was a leader in advocating for a veteran care facility to be built in Bowling Green.

Don Bulter, a military veteran living in Bowling Green, said having a facility close to the community will allow veterans access to quality services.

“It’s a significant day,” Butler said. “Col. Spiller was a terrific influence and this veterans nursing home is going to be such a benefit to the area.”

The multi-million dollar facility is due to open in Spring of 2024 and boasts advanced medical equipment, physical therapy, and recreational activities for residents. The facility is being built on 25 acres donated by the Inter-Modal Transportation Authority in the Kentucky Transpark in Bowling Green.

Jacob Martin is a Reporter at WKU Public Radio. He joined the newsroom from Kansas City, where he covered the city’s underserved communities and general assignments, at NPR member station KCUR. A Louisville native, he spent seven years living in Brooklyn, New York before moving back to Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @jacob_noah or email him at
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