WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Today was the grand opening for the long-awaited VA regional superclinic.
The 80,000 square foot facility will allow veterans to receive a new array of services, including day surgery, mental health, cardiology and MRIs.
Charlie Garnder has a host of stories he could tell about his two tours of duty in Vietnam and the 27 years he spent in the Navy. Today, he joined other veterans celebrating the grand opening of a new superclinic designed to better take care of them.
"We have been trying this for the longest time to have them to try and build something closer. To have something for our veterans especially the ones that are sick," Gardner said.
Much of the credit may belong to Congressman Mike McIntyre who lobbied for years to build the clinic.
"This is the first of its kind in North Carolina. We are looking for others to hopefully be built in North Carolina, but Wilmington is first. Southeastern North Carolina is first in getting this because we have been working on it for over a decade," McIntyre said.
With nearly one million veterans in North Carolina, Gardner says this new center will benefit more than just those living in Wilmington.
"We have a lot of veterans in this county, New Hanover County as well as Brunswick County, that do not know what the VA has to offer them, and that's why we as Vietnam Veterans really broadcast that information," Gardner said.
One of the biggest benefits of the superclinic is less travel for veterans. Many of the services offered at the clinic could only be had at the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville.