West TN Veterans Home purchases land

Wednesday, June 29th 2016, 6:00 pm CDTWednesday, June 29th 2016, 7:04 pm CDT

 (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

Rendering of future West TN Veterans Home (SOURCE: TN Veterans Home) Rendering of future West TN Veterans Home (SOURCE: TN Veterans Home)

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

ARLINGTON, TN (WMC) – It’s been years in the making, but now the Mid-South finally has an official site for the West Tennessee State Veterans Home. However, there is still a number of hoops to jump through before it becomes a reality, walls are built, and the doors are opened for veterans living in the Mid-South.

For veterans like Henry Hooper, it’s a dream come true.

Hooper, 77, is a former Memphis City Councilman and was also a Marine, Army soldier and Green Beret for 11 years.

“They provide a unique means of treatment and care for veterans,” Hooper said. “A routine nursing home does not provide that.”

The facility will provide 144 beds on a large parcel of land in Arlington, TN. Wednesday’s event official recognized the land purchase that has taken several years, but the plan is still in its early stages.

“We have so many folks returning from service today that have various close head injuries, PTSD, and the like, rehabilitation, they may not need nursing home care per se, but they need rehabilitation,” Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) said.

With 71,000 veterans living in Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton counties, the need is even greater here than anywhere else in the state.

The veterans home will be built on 28 acres, but two questions still remain: where will they get the additional funding and when will it be built?

“A lot of donors that are ready to step up and support this cause and if there’s a way for the state to build it ourselves and work with the federal government after the fact, I think that’s a viable option,” Senator Norris said.

So far, $8 million have been raised for the home. Norris plans to put another $10 million in the state budget, with the goal of getting $25 million in state and locally money before requesting federal funding.

“It can happen and it’s going to happen,” Hopper said.

If you would like to donate to the West Tennessee Veterans Home and help make the dream of giving back to those who have served, click here.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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