Counties pitch for a veteran's home in the Wiregrass
Better healthcare and hundreds of jobs for the area - all because a new veteran's home is coming to the Wiregrass. Several area counties are pitching for the new facility. 10 counties have until August 15 to apply.
"Every soldier that I know in my era, we were promised certain things, one of those was healthcare," said Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting.
Bunting served for 30 years in the US Army. He's passionate about bringing accessible healthcare to area veterans - hoping it will be in Dale County.
"We need a veterans home, because we have thousands of veterans. Fort Rucker veterans population - they serve – is around 50,000," said Bunting.
Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs sent a site request to counties in the Southeast after a study supported the need for a home. There's only four in the state and the closest to the Wiregrass is in Alexander City, more than 100 miles from major Wiregrass cities.
"It would be a great benefit. People wouldn't' have to travel to get to their loved ones," said Davy Daughtry, Veteran Service Officer.
In Houston County, Daughtry who assists veterans every day would love to see it here.
"That was the best news I’ve heard all year," said Daughtry.
No matter where it ends up… "It will be a game-changer for veterans, and for us, it will be a game-changer because it’s going to be a great economic development," said Bunting.
Mayor Bunting says Ozark needs the jobs, has space, and can supply the workforce.
"I hope every one of us feels it's needed and wherever it goes everyone gets behind it and support it and I think they will," said Bunting.
The facility would house at least 150 veterans and provide dozens of full time jobs both in the health care and construction industries. The State Board of Veterans Affairs will meet to decide on the final location.
We do not know the timetable on that.