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Sen. Carper Urges Department of Veterans Affairs to Help Build a Veterans’ Home in Delaware

Carper writes letter encouraging VA to consider DE project a top priority

Aug 11 2004

Wilmington, DE – Senator Tom Carper today sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi encouraging him to make a veterans’ home in Milford a top priority in this year’s budget. The estimated federal contribution would be $16.4 million. Delaware has more veterans per square mile than almost any other state, yet Delaware is one of only three states that does not have a veterans’ home.

Below, is a copy of Senator Carper’s letter to VA Secretary Principi:

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am writing to urge the Department of Veterans Affairs to help build a state veterans’ home in Delaware. Such a facility has been long overdue in Delaware and I encourage the VA to strongly consider placing this project near the top of its priority list and commit $16.4 million to building this home.

Delaware has more veterans per square mile than almost any other state, yet Delaware is one of only three states that does not have a veterans’ home. Certainly, there is an immediate need for such a facility. Close to 22,000 Delaware veterans and their families benefit from VA medical services, such as the medical center in Elsmere and the outpatient clinics in Millsboro and Seaford. However, some vets need more intensive, extended care that can be offered in a veterans’ home, such as long-term nursing home care, adult day care and hospice care. The need for a veterans’ home is likely to grow even more as life expectancies climb and as the State continues to attract more veterans looking for a an attractive place to retire.

I was pleased that in April of this year, the Delaware State legislature, with the support of the Governor’s office, worked to secure the $8.8 million, or 35 percent, of the cost needed for the construction of a State veteran’s home, thus enabling the state to qualify under the VA State Home Program. As you may know, the deadline for bid applications is August 15th, and the VA will determine the priority list for such bids soon thereafter. I urge you to acknowledge Delaware’s dire need for a veteran’s home and partner with the State to meet the necessary costs of building a quality facility as expeditiously as possible.

As veterans ourselves, we well understand the sacrifices made by members of America’s armed forces to protect our country and her freedoms. One of the best ways we can honor the courage and service of our veterans is by offering those in need of care a comfortable and caring community. I urge the VA to join me and others in creating such a community in Delaware, one that we can be proud of and one that our veterans so richly deserve. Thank you for your efforts on behalf our nation’s veterans.