Veterans Celebrate Groundbreaking of New VA Clinic in Odessa

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - It was a big day for veterans all over the Basin. A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Odessa.

It's a partnership between Medical Center Hospital and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The clinic promises to provide top of the line care for those who deserve it most.

For Veteran Mike Hutt, the groundbreaking for the clinic was a touching moment.

"The Permian Basin has some of the bravest men and women in the world and they deserve this," Hutt said.

He's done five tours in Iraq and two more in Afghanistan. His service left him injured.

"I was in hard landing in a Chinook and it damaged my neck and my spine, my hips and my legs," Hutt said.

But the new clinic promises to make sure he's taken care of.

On top of providing closer access to care, the 10,000 sq. foot facility will offer a new eye clinic, audiology services, nutritional services, home-based health care and more.

"It's exciting to know that they're gonna come home to something like this," Hutt said.

With over 8,000 veterans in the Basin, it's needed in the area.

We're told the care is constantly changing for the better.

"We are able to provide this cutting edge care for our veterans because of what we learned from veterans of other wars," Dr. Sudip Bose with Medical Center Hospital, said.

Congressman and veteran Mike Conaway spoke at the ceremony. He said the clinic is an opportunity for the country to shine.

"As young people look at the way we take care of vets from prior years and how good of a job we do, then they're more likely to serve our country knowing that if something happens to them, they'll be taken care of too," Conaway said.

Hutt said the new VA clinic will be a huge help in his recovery.

"I'm on permanent blood thinners so they have to be monitored constantly and it's really kinda tough to get to Big Spring to do that," Hutt said. "Having physical therapy and pharmacy right here is amazing."

And everyone can agree, no one deserves it more than those who served.

"The care of a veteran is something that needs to persist," Bose said. "It's not a sprint, it's a marathon."

"Whether they served in combat or not, they raised their right hand to defend our nation," Hutt said. "Our country called and they answered."

The clinic is scheduled to open sometime in early 2014.