St. John veterans home still on schedule

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Staff Reporter

RESERVE — The War Veterans Home in Reserve is moving right along, still planning a September 2006 opening date, and adding a Federal Medical Clinic to its campus.

Construction began on May 6 at 4080 W. Airline Hwy. in Reserve, and was lucky enough to escape damage during Hurricane Katrina.

&#8220We had no damage,” said Joey &#8220Big Indian” Strickland, deputy secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs. &#8220In fact, the roof is now done, and we are working with the architects to begin picking out colors for the interior.”

Strickland said they are currently in negotiation with the Federal Government to establish a 15,000 sq. ft. community based outpatient clinic on the campus.

&#8220This will be a world-class, state-of-the-art facility,” he said. &#8220Services will not only be available to veterans in the home, but veterans in the community as well.”

Strickland also said he recently met with the VA Medical Center executives from Washington, D.C., and they said the VA Medical Center of New Orleans will be rebuilt.

The question is whether or not it will be rebuilt in the same place or not. In the meantime, he said services for Veterans are available on the 10th floor, and they can treat up to 200 veterans a day.

The $17 million home will house 156 veterans and generate around 200 jobs.

According to Strickland, having the home will allow the veterans to be taken care of, it will put people to work and bring about $7 million of federal money to the economy in St. John Parish.