VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Officials broke ground Wednesday on a new veterans care facility in Virginia Beach, scheduled for completion in 2020.
The Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center is being built on a 26-acre site next to a planned extension of Nimmo Parkway.
Officials say the center will feature 128 private rooms. Care will be centered around eight 16-room houses — which will be linked to a central community center. The center will be an in-patient residential facility with skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s care, and short-term rehabilitation.
It will be owned and operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and will employ about 200 people.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe named the center after Hampton Roads natives Col. William A. Jones III and Staff Sgt. Christopher F. Cabacoy.
Cabacoy served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. He died in July of 2010 when insurgents in Kandahar, Afghanistan attacked his vehicle with a homemade bomb.
“I’m excited. It’s an honor to be a part of something that can help the community, the veterans, and their families,” said Cabacoy’s widow, Tamara Cabacoy.
Jones served in the U.S. Air Force for multiple decades, serving in the Vietnam War and receiving the Medal of Honor in 1968.
“I feel humbled, and lots of goosebumps today. We are continually taken aback by the honors and tributes and the memory that is being kept of our Dad after all these years,” said Jones’ daughter, Mary Lee Jones Kuhn.
“We need to take care of those individuals who have worn the cloth of the country and I’m very proud, Virginia’s the first state to do something like this,” McAuliffe said. “We have 725,000 veterans in Virginia, per capita, the most in the country, and unfortunately, the VA is not being able to do what they should to do provide healthcare for our veterans, so we at the state level said, ‘We’re going to step up and do this ourselves.'”