Leaders break ground on new veterans care center in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Gov. Terry McAullife and other state and local leaders broke ground on a new veterans care center on Wednesday afternoon.

The 128-bed long term care and rehab center is scheduled to open in 2020.

It will be a state-of-the-art facility providing skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, as well as short-term rehabilitative care.

"We're not going to sit around and wait for the VA," Gov. McAuliffe said. "If they're not going to do it, we're going to do it. That's what we've done here today."

The center will serve the Hampton Roads region, which is home to more than 200,000 veterans. It'll be named after Air Force Col. William A. Jones, a Medal of Honor recipient from the Vietnam War and a Norfolk native, as well as Army Sgt. Christopher Cabacoy, a Virginia Beach native who died in Afghanistan in 2010.

"It's a wonderful thing to know that our military is being remembered, and that history is continuing to be taught, and they're not forgotten" said Mary Lee Jones Kuhn, a daughter of Jones.

"(Right now) the closest facility of this type is in Richmond," said Steven Combs in February. He's the Deputy Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. "They're going to be visited by family by friends. This is going to be their home for either three weeks or maybe the rest of their lives."