Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
The Virginia Beach City Council has voted to reserve 15 to 25 acres of city land as the site of a proposed Veterans Care Center in Hampton Roads. The actual location of the site has not been determined.
House Bill 1275, introduced by House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and Del. Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), dedicates $28.5 million in funding for a proposed 240-bed, long-term care facility. However, the state must obtain funds from the federal government for the project to move forward.
“Securing a potential site for the construction of the Hampton Roads area veterans care center is a milestone step in our efforts to complete this project,” Cox said in a statement. “The commonwealth needs additional veterans care centers to provide quality long-term care to our veterans. The Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia facilities are two of our top legislative priorities this year.”
Del. Stolle requested the resolution passed Friday by the council.
“Virginia Beach is home to tens of thousands of active-duty and retired armed forces members. Dedicating land for this important project is another example of just how committed this city and its leaders are to caring for our nation’s heroes,” Stolle said in a statement. “I believe very strongly that Virginia Beach is the right location for a Hampton Roads care center and look forward to making that a reality very soon.”
Virginia currently has Veterans Care Centers in Salem and Richmond. The centers provide long-term care to veterans. Virginia is home to more than 800,000 veterans, the seventh-highest total of any state, but ranks 44th in the ratio of veterans to available care centers.
Virginia first authorized funding for the Hampton Roads care center in 2006, and the Northern Virginia care center in 2008. Through the efforts of Del. Rich Anderson (R-Prince William) two sites have been identified for the Northern Virginia Care Center, one in Innovation Park, Prince William County and another site on George Mason University’s Prince William County Campus. However, both projects have been stalled at the federal level. Care centers are built with 65 percent federal funding and 35 percent state funding.
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
This just in from the IAVA:
Henry Rollins Joins IAVA’s Convoy to Combat Suicide Actor, musician and USO performer is a long-time supporter of IAVA New York, NY (October 17, 2014) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, today formally announced Henry Rollins, actor, musician and USO performer, will join IAVA’s Convoy to Combat Suicide . IAVA’s top 2014 priority is to lower the unacceptably high veterans suicide rate, and Rollins’ support will help spread awareness to their fan base as they tour the country this month.
Henry Rollins is a long-time supporter of IAVA, dating back to 2008 when Rollins spoke at IAVA’s Second Annual Heroes Gala in New York City. In 2009 IAVA released the music video “Stronger Together” on YouTube featuring Rollins as a voiceover. Rollins has also shown continuous support of IAVA coast to coast, attending the Third Annual Heroes Celebration in the spring of 2009 in Los Angeles, CA.
The Convoy to Combat Suicide is a national tour of the We’ve Got Your Back: IAVA’s Campaign to Combat Suicide, a historic, yearlong effort IAVA launched in March to address veteran suicide and improve access to quality mental health care. It brings together artists from a wide variety of musical audiences to stand with our nation’s veterans.
“IAVA is honored to work with Henry Rollins again,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “Henry has been with us since the beginning, supporting us and the veterans’ community every day. He has met with many of our members over the years and heard their stories. We are privileged to have such an outstanding vets’ advocate talking about our issues front and center, elevating the unique challenges of post-9/11 veterans to his fan base.”
Throughout the Convoy, IAVA has partnered with Linkin Park, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Miller High Life, NASCAR driver Cale Conley, Major League Baseball teams, local political, business and social leaders, and most importantly, with IAVA Leadership Fellows and local members and supporters nationwide.
IAVA members and supporters will lead and attend events in cities ranging from Scranton to Dallas to Phoenix, all focused on supporting our veterans at this critical time. The Convoy will roll through some of the cities with the highest concentrations of veterans in America, and many places profoundly impacted by the ongoing VA scandal.
In IAVA’s 2014 Member Survey 40 percent of respondents said they know at least one Iraq or Afghanistan veteran that has died by suicide and 47 percent know one that has attempted suicide.
Scheduled dates and cities currently include:
– October 18, 2014 – Cleveland, OH
– November 14, 2014 – Des Moines, A
– November 15, 2014 – Iowa City, IA
– November 16, 2014 – Stoughton, Wisc.
All year long IAVA will activate every element of its membership, programs and partners – both on the ground and online. IAVA will incorporate this effort into everything it does from its monthly VetTogethers to its more than 500,000-person strong social media community. IAVA will empower its almost 300,000 members and supporters to serve as a ground force for outreach, support and advocacy. And it will travel the country, turning public attention to the issue of veteran suicide and promoting solutions.