New facility provides home for elderly veterans
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - Veterans face a number of hurdles when their service is over, including unemployment, health issues, and housing. This Veteran's Day, Southern Arizona took a step forward in taking care of those who fought for the country.
Elected officials and members of the community dedicated a new State Veteran Home, which will serve as an assisted living facility for older veterans. Gov. Jan Brewer spoke during the dedication.
"Today this flag flies even higher as we celebrate the opening of this wonderful facility," she said, "To all of the Arizona veterans, I say thank you."
Veterans like David Allegria, a native Tucsonan who fought in Vietnam with the U.S Army, earning a Purple Heart. Now, he is the Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
9 On Your Side's Jessica Chapin asked if he thought the country did enough for its veterans.
"The country does a lot but there's still a lot to be done," he replied.
He says the new building is a positive step. The building includes 120 beds, and facilities like a barber shop and salon, library, and Internet cafe.
"I think it's going to be tremendous for the veterans that are here," said Allegria, "I toured it and I thought wow, I'd like to live here."
It took a partnership between the National Department of Veterans Affairs and the Arizona Department of Veterans' Services to finish the $27 million project. Money Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett says is a small price to pay for those who protect the nation's freedom.
"I'm not sure that we could ever do enough for our veterans," he said, "So even though we try to do more and more every year, we always look forward to doing more."
There are only four State Veteran Homes in the country. Two are in Arizona. Tucson's facility authorities expect to accept veterans in February or March, after they pass three Federal surveys.