VETERANS: Walla Walla VA Project Clears Final Hurdle, Groundbreaking Set for July 1
May 15 2015
Land transfer to federal government completed this week, marking final step in approval process
80-bed facility will serve veterans from 10 counties near Walla Walla
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is pleased to announce that after more than a decade of planning, the Walla Walla State Veterans Home project has cleared its final procedural hurdle and will be built on the grounds of the Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center. Groundbreaking is set for July 1st. When the home opens next year, it will serve 80 veterans and create 100 local jobs.
Senator Murray is proud to have secured $23 million in federal funding last year to move the project forward.
“I am so glad to see the culmination of many years of collaboration and hard work by local, state, and national stakeholders result in the construction of such an important facility for our veterans,”said Senator Murray. “This facility is badly needed in Southeast Washington to help fulfill the promise we have made as a nation to care for veterans, and I am proud to have been a voice for this community in the Senate as we fought to support Walla Walla veterans.”
“Without the tenacity of Senator Murray and her willingness to go to bat for the Walla Walla State Veterans Home at the Federal VA level, we would not be here today talking about a groundbreaking ceremony,” said Lourdes E. Alvarado-Ramos, WDVA director. “Words cannot express how excited your Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs is to move forward with this project with our outstanding partners and community members.”
“I sincerely appreciate Senator Murray's personal effort along with her combined diligence, tenacity, commitment and leadership in helping to broker the land transfer between the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs and the Washington State Veterans’ Program,” said Jerry Cummins, Mayor of Walla Walla. “Senator Murray has been a leader in assisting both local Washington State veterans as well as veterans throughout our nation obtain medical and health care services they both need and deserve. Senator Murray has been and continues to be a champion for veterans and is committed to improving health care for veterans.”
The transfer of land to Washington state to build the Walla Walla State Veterans Home, a skilled nursing facility, was approved in February, and the official land transfer occurred this week from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. For more than a decade, Senator Murray has worked with veterans, community leaders, and local officials to support the large veterans community in Eastern Washington. She has consistently pushed VA officials, including numerous VA Secretaries, to commit funding for the Walla Walla State Veterans Home project. Washington has state veterans homes in Spokane, Kitsap County and Pierce County, but the southeastern corner has yet to have a state veterans home.