IVINS, Utah – Hundreds of military veterans and their families filled a parking lot and lined the streets in Southern Utah Thursday for the opening of a brand new veterans home.
The $19 million facility makes the third veterans' home in Utah and will serve elderly and disabled veterans in nine southern Utah counties, a population state VA directors say has been long overlooked.
"There are about 12,000 veterans in Washington County and then many others in surrounding counties," says Utah Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Terry Schow. "It means they won't have to travel to Northern Utah to get skilled nursing care."
There are 108 beds at the home. It sits on 10 acres of property near the Ivins town center. Land that Mayor Chris Hart says was set aside for this kind of project.
"This is the place that this facility ought to be," says Hart. "This is a magical, wonderful little city, full of people who love and care about their neighbors."
But veterans who attended the ribbon cutting say it's more than just a care facility. The new home will serve as a memorial for veterans who have served.
"It shows that the country cares," says retired veteran Steve Quintana. "The country cares about the veterans and our health and our cares. And this proves it. This shows it."
The Department of Veterans Affairs will be opening it’s fourth veterans' home in Payson on June 8.