New Rehab Building to Open Next Week at Big Spring VA Hospital

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

Employees are cleaning the floors, setting out the plants and putting on the finishing touches for the Veterans Healing Center in Big Spring. It will help vets who are homeless and suffering from drug addictions start over again

"When you think of a vet, that person signed the dotted line to go fight for this country, they used to be very functional people," Jesse Burgard, Chief of Mental Health Services at the VA Hospital in Big Spring, said.

The Old Rehab Center could only hold 12 beds, the new Center has 40. And every spot is expected to be filled.

"The demand is very great, 97 percent occupancy, meaning it's filled all the time. We even carry a wait list," Burgard said.

They're not just helping vets with substance abuse. They're also focusing on their mental health. Once they're on the road to recovery, they'll also get job training and even a place to live.

The program came out from research that the VA did to figure out what it needed to do to better help veterans.

"This building came out of it and I think that the Big Spring community and VA Hospital can take pride that they made this happen," Burgard said.

The VA Rehab Center came with a $7 million dollar price tag. It will serve West Texas veterans from Amarillo to El Paso.

Next Tuesday will be the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the new building.