The VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids is a peaceful campus and a haven for the families of veterans and active military members. The quiet community was shaken by the allegation that one of its employees sexually assaulted two kids living there.
"Of course it's heartbreaking and devastating for anyone who's been involved," said Patrice Green, executive director for the VFW National Home for Children.
The accused, 44-year-old Misty Lynn Botke, worked with kids at the national home for more than two decades. She was quoted in a 2007 New York Daily News article saying "we try to be an example of what a mom and dad are supposed to be like." Botke took care of children whose parents or guardian are unable to as part of VFW National Home's Residential Program.
"That's heavily regulated by the State of Michigan and we actually exceed their requirements," Green said.
Green is talking about the extensive requirements that go into hiring house parents, which include criminal history and reference checks. When asked about Botke's charges, she says there are still many unanswered questions.
"See if we can find out what happened and what we can do to improve our program and enhance our programs to ensure that children are kept safe."
During News 10's interview with Green, the emotions on her face and in her voice were clear. She wanted to send out a message.
"As they work to discover the facts behind these allegations, our hearts are with everyone involved."