Arlington Site Selected for State Veterans Home

Pell City Exterior

Exterior View of Pell City, Alabama Veterans Home. The Arlington Veterans Home is planned to be a very similar design. Photo courtesy of West Tennessee Veterans Home, Inc.

wtvh-logo-HiResHolly Swogger is a woman on a mission to help vets. Since 2008 she has been part of a group working tirelessly to  build a Veterans Home in West Tennessee.

Currently, Swogger explains, the closest Veterans Home  to the Memphis metro area is located 100 miles away in Humboldt, Tennessee. That means  a Shelby, Tipton, or Fayette County vet living there would be over an hour and a half away from family and friends.

Plus, the numbers indicate that West Tennessee needs another facility, Swogger says. There are over 71,000 veterans living in the three-county area, and more could be eligible due to Tennessee ties.

Swogger states that 115 veterans from Shelby County alone are currently on the waiting list for the Humboldt home. In addition, paraplegic veterans and those with tracheotomies have to stay at the VA hospital as there are no other facilities for them.

In addition to long-term care and two secured units, the Veterans Home’s primary mission is to provide skilled nursing or rehabilitation care by staff who are trained to care for veterans.

In early April, Swogger and her board learned that the Tennessee State Veterans Home Board had recommended the selection of 45 acres at the Arlington Developmental Center site for the state’s sixth Veterans Home.

Construction of the $65 million, 144-bed facility is contingent on environmental testing and, more importantly, fundraising.

The “Town Hall” at Pell City, Alabama Veterans Home. Photo courtesy of West Tennessee Veterans Home, Inc.

The “Town Hall” at Pell City, Alabama Veterans Home. Photo courtesy of West Tennessee Veterans Home, Inc.

Swogger explains that local support is critical to the facility’s future, but adds that once built, the Veterans Home will be financially self-sufficient.

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs will pay $45.5 million of the cost, with the $24.5 million balance being the responsibility of state and local governments and grassroots fundraising campaigns.

Swogger’s group, The West Tennessee Veterans Home, Inc., is almost halfway there. The recent announcement of a $10 million commitment from the State of Tennessee has brought their fundraising total up close to $13 million dollars.

But the clock is ticking. Swogger says that the West Tennessee Veterans Home has a deadline of August 1, 2016 to raise the funds for an early 2017 construction start.

“Veterans are used to hearing ‘Thank you for your service,’ but have found that often to be just words,” said Swogger.

“This time we’re determined that this dream will be fulfilled and veterans will be able to recover and rehabilitate with other veterans.”

For more information on how you can help, visit www.veterans-home.com or  facebook.com/WestTNVeteransHome.

 

 

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