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Mississippi Veterans Home at Tradition back on track in Harrison County

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
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HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - After a year of delay because of COVID, the new Mississippi Veterans Home at Tradition is finally underway. The first ground-breaking was in 2019.

Friday’s ceremony was billed as Construction Commencement Ceremony, and now the 100-bed Mississippi Veterans Home is about 20 months away from reality.

“This is a project we’ve been working on for over three years behind the scenes,” said Stacey Pickering, Executive Director of Mississippi Veterans Affairs. “We had the official announcement two years ago and everything came to a stop. So, yesterday, when I came on the site to take a look at it for the first time with all the trees gone the dirt work already getting underway, it was exhilarating, it was exciting and there was a moment of almost quietness.”

The ceremony drew federal, state and local officials as well as community leaders.

“Our obligations don’t stop when they hang up the uniform,” said Rep. Steven Palazzo. “We as a nation have a moral responsibility to care for our veterans for the rest of their lives as well as take care of their families. So that’s why today is so important.”

And since the closest VA nursing home to the Coast is in Collins, the location is being well received.

“The idea that Mississippi Coast veterans now have access to this state-of-the-art, quality facility, it’s priceless,” said Becky Montgomery Jenner, a community leader and veteran.

Gov. Tate Reeves took over where former governor Phil Bryant left off.

“When you think about the fact that 180,000 veterans are in Mississippi, 35 percent of which live here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, it makes perfect sense that we do this,” he said. “And, so this is a partnership between the federal government and state government. And I just couldn’t be happier having played a very small role to help make this become a reality.”

The Mississippi Veterans Home at Tradition represents a $64 million investment, will bring in about 200 new jobs and have an estimated annual economic impact of $14 million.

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