New Facility Approved for State’s Veterans [Commentary]

June 15, 2006

In a great and long overdue move, a new Veterans’ Home Building will be constructed in Rocky Hill, thanks in part to a substantial grant from the federal government to the State of Connecticut. Specifically, the grant was awarded through the State Home Program, which is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and all 50 states to construct, acquire or renovate nursing home, domiciliary and/or adult day health facilities.

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson came to Connecticut recently to make the official announcement. He presented Connecticut Commissioner of Veterans’ Affairs Linda Spoonster Schwartz with a check worth nearly $22 million during a ceremony that took place at the future site of the facility in Rocky Hill. Governor M. Jodi Rell as well as members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation also attended the event and offered their thoughts on the new facility.

As Ranking Senator on the Select Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I believe we need to do everything possible to provide our veterans with proper assistance and benefits and this new building is a right step in that direction. With a new state-of-the-art facility, veterans can receive the best care possible and live with the dignity and reverence they deserve. These brave men and women served our great country with honor and deserve our utmost respect.

I have worked extremely hard over the last several years to pass legislation that benefits our State’s veterans. It’s great that the federal government has stepped in and helped us by providing such a substantial grant to help construct the new building. Now veterans will get their much-needed new facility and taxpayers will not have to pay for the entire cost.

The new building will be 87,000 square feet and have five residential wards. In addition, it will house a 25-bed Alzheimer’s unit with its own dining room and private courtyard. Each of the five wards will also have a hospice room so veterans can spend their final days among friends and family. Among other features of the new building will be an occupational/physical therapy department, pharmacy, library, and chapel.

The current veterans’ facility in Rocky Hill is a chronic disease hospital that provides long term care to veterans with chronic and disabling medical conditions. About 135 veterans are currently treated there.

If you would like more information on the new veterans’ facility or have any additional questions please feel free to call my office at 1(800)841-1421 or e-mail me at [email protected].