BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) –After years of waiting, people celebrated the groundbreaking of the veterans home in Bradley County.
Doyle Rice served in Korea. He is from Cleveland, but is living two and a half hours away at the Veterans Home in Murfreesboro.
Rice likes how the Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans’ Home is becoming a reality. It has been in the works for 16 years.
“I never was so glad in my life because a bunch of us from the VFW and around have tried and tried and worked on it, but it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen. But now that it has, I am glad. If I don’t make it back, I am glad that it is here for the rest of the GIs,” Rice said.
On Wednesday morning, Governor Bill Lee attended a groundbreaking ceremony with others who helped make this possible.
“I think the reason a lot of people stuck with it is because of the real purpose and a lot of believe that we need to serve our veterans and this is a great way to do it,” Governor Bill Lee said.
It will be a single story 108 bed intermediate and skilled care nursing facility spanning more than 100 thousand square feet.
“We are going to have ourselves a nice veterans home here that is going to be the envy of the country,” said Ed Harries, the Tennessee State Veterans Homes executive director.
Harries says this was much needed because 50 thousand veterans are in southeast Tennessee.
“So there was a void in the state where we were not providing those long term care services specifically for veterans and their spouses, so here we are the project started many years ago. It has come a long way. Big bumps, big mountains that had to be surmounted, but we are finally there,” Harries said.
Rice is looking forward to see the final result.
“Just hurry and get it built, where I can come home,” Rice said.