Northern Nevada's First Veterans Home Breaks Ground - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Northern Nevada's First Veterans Home Breaks Ground

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After many years of planning, hoping and's about to begin for the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home. The groundbreaking ON Monday was a big event for high ranking dignitaries like Governor Sandoval...and Senator Dean Heller who told us, "Everybody's been waiting for this for a long time, so we get a northern Nevada veterans home here."

For Vietnam veteran Tom Spencer, it's personal. He knows too many veterans who need nursing home care. As he told us, "There are a lot of vets. My father would be one." His dad, who fought in World War II at Guadalcanal, is being housed by Tom's sister. Tom says, "He has a lot of issues, but physically he's in great health.” Would he like a place like this new veteran’s home? "Oh, he'd love a place like this."

So by December next year, 96 beds are going to be right there off Kietzke Lane in Sparks, almost across from the DMV. The governor said today we're going “from sage, to service” with the new veteran's home, with special amenities you won't find in any regular nursing home: "It's going to have a barber shop, a beauty shop, it's going to have places where they can get the therapy they need, it's going to have a parade ground. It's going to be a place where veterans not only reside here and get the care they deserve, but veterans and families will be able to come here as well."

There's one in southern Nevada, but this will be our first…and it's about time. There are over 80,000 veterans living in northern Nevada, more are aging out. Many are unhappy in nursing homes. Charley Smith, a retired Lt. Colonel with the U.S. Army told us, "It's just not the same for them. They need to be with their brethren. They need to be with people who know how to care for veterans." Charley who served 24 years in the Army, hopes its her final stop: "I do. Maybe in about 20 or 30 years from now, I want my husband and I to share a room together."

Vets will pay $110 a day from their Medicare, VA compensation, pension or out of pocket. In return they get more hands on care. Senator Heller says, "They will understand the needs for veterans, their concerns."

And when it’s finished, Charley says it will send a message: "It'll say, 'Thank you so very much for taking care of those, who have cared for you.'"

The $50 million project is projected to be finished in December of next year. 

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