New nursing home for veterans under construction

RADCLIFF, Ky. (AP) — Construction is under way on the Radcliff Veterans Center, a nursing facility being built in a region that’s home to Kentucky’s largest concentration of veterans.

Gov. Steve Beshear toured the site on Wednesday.

The facility will provide 120 veterans with a private room and bath and family-style living room, dining room, kitchen and patio. A separate building will be used for recreation, physical therapy and other services.

“It won’t look like a hospital,” said Gilda Hill, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Veterans Centers. “It won’t look like a nursing home.”

It will be Kentucky’s fourth such facility for elderly veterans. Others are located in Hanson, Hazard and Wilmore.

Construction began in July and the facility is scheduled to open in June 2015. It is being paid for with a $21.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and $18.6 million from the state of Kentucky.

The U.S. Department of Defense donated 194 acres from Fort Knox for the facility.

Beshear said the project is overdue for the area, where about one-quarter of the state’s veterans live.

“I know a lot of people are eager for this to be completed,” Beshear said.

The News Enterprise ( reports Hardin County Judge-Executive Harry Berry said veterans the facility is a good way to help repay veterans who have sacrificed much for their country and for others.

“They served our country faithfully and gave our community the opportunity to serve them,” Berry said.

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Ken Lucas said staff will be assigned to meet the needs of veterans at the facility.

“Our goal is to provide quality care to the veterans,” Lucas said.

Clint Meshew, Fort Knox veterans’ service officer, said the center will help pay proper respect to veterans and take some of the burden off family members.

“What pains me is little old ladies driving halfway across the state to see their husbands in the nursing home,” he said. “Now they won’t have to do that anymore.”

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