Veterans home in Murfreesboro gives virtual reality a spin

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MURFREESBORO — Ms. Luana Brandon, 94, spent her Thursday afternoon on an African safari, while in the heart of Murfreesboro.

“I got to pet a zebra, an emu, a little baby goat, and several other animals,” she explained.

Luana, an Air Force Veteran, served in World War II.

Jordan Baker, 93, served with the Army but was test driving a Porsche Thursday.

These two are part of Tennessee State Veterans Home’s virtual reality pilot program.

“We do a lot of trips,” explained Ed Harries, Executive Director of the home. “However some of the residents aren’t able to make trips. Well with MyndVR, I can take the residents on a trip anywhere they want.”

The home has teamed up with MyndVR, offering veterans a chance to experience hundreds of activities.

Mr. Baker, a former POW, sticks with his cars after trucking vehicles cross country for nearly half a decade. His VR trips included Porsche riding and NASCAR races.

“That’s all I done for 40 years,” he explained.

Ms. Brandon on the other hand, can’t get enough animals.

“Well I wanted to take a [VR headset] home,” she added. “Because it’s so fantastic.”

For these two, and the 126 others at the center, these headsets offer adventure and so much more.

Ed Harries hopes to roll out the headsets at their other three Tennessee Veterans centers soon.

“Outside the entertainment value, there’s some definite therapeutic elements to it,” he said.

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