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New V.A. facility to be centrally located at ILM

READ MORE: New V.A. facility to be centrally located at ILM
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Veterans Affairs officials are moving forward with plans for a new VA outpatient clinic in Wilmington. The one hundred thousand square-foot facility will be located in the Wilmington International Airport's business park, which will save veterans an otherwise lengthy drive to get specialized medical treatment. "I was wounded in Vietnam, I took four bullets to the neck,” said Mervin Vaught. To get specialized treatment for his wounds, Vaught has to drive to the VA medical clinic in Fayetteville. But that's expected to change summer 2011. “The VA has signed an option with the airport, and to select a site it's a little more than 19 almost 20 acres, of land within our business park,” said Jim Morton, Wilmington International Airport’s finance director. The new outpatient clinic in Wilmington will be ten times the size of the one on Medical Center Drive. Unlike the current facility, the new center will be equipped with a lab, pharmacy, dental clinic, and specialized services, which will save local veterans a lot of miles. "It's a financial burden to have to drive all the way to Fayetteville and the time-consuming, this will be great,” said David Garten. "It gives us an opportunity to not have a long drive, along with the ailments that we have,” said Julius James. The VA will lease the land from the airport, which is located to the left of the airport entrance. The initial cost to lease the 20 acres is about $220,000 a year; that cost will go up each year. Morton said the airport's business park is a perfect location. "We are centrally located to Martin Luther King which takes you to I-40, or downtown over highway 421, so it's easy in and easy out." Veteran's Administrator Bruce Sprecher agrees. Some Brunswick County officials had hoped for the new clinic to come to their county - and proposed the current Brunswick Community Hospital as the site. A new Brunswick Community Hospital is opening in 2011. No matter what the location, Vaught says he can't wait for 2011. "I just think it's just great, I think it's tremendous, I think it's the benefit of so many veterans." Not only is it centrally located, VA officials chose ILM's business park because infrastructure like water, sewer, and gas lines are already in place. VA officials plan to name a developer by January. The entire project will cost roughly 95 million dollars in federal funds.

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New VA Hospital

The real issue is not having a new hospital but better treatment. I am over 100 per cent disabled and I would be better off having medicaid. It take almost a month to get an appiontment for any problem you might have. I have been waiting four months to get into the eye clinic in Durham. Every month my medicine is weeks late. It's not a hospital it's the treatment and the response time when you need medical help that henders the VA

Wherever they put it, I hope

Wherever they put it, I hope they have some kind of care when accidents or illness happens on the weekend or late at night. VA care is better than nothing, but not much. And for goodness sake, don't ever require any emergency attention.

I agree. I am over 200 per

I agree. I am over 200 per cent disabled.

I can't use it

I can't use it because I wasn't allowed in the army because of the don't ask don't tell policy. I told.

I'm more

I'm atleast 350% disabled because I'm lazy.

A lot of money could be

A lot of money could be saved by putting the clinic in the old Brunswick Hospital building. It is already there and set up for medical care. I guess the government thinks that makes too much sense and of course, they must spend as much as possible.

Good suggestion

That is a good suggestion. Why let the old hospital sit vacant. It is a fully operational buidling and wouldn't need alot of work done. But then again - you are talking about the government here. Why use something already there when you could spend the taxpayers money on something costing a whole lot more? Our veterans need these services - they sacrificed for us, now let's give back to them.