Feds approve $26M for new veterans home in Bradley County

Press release from Department of Veterans Affairs

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee State Veterans Home Executive Director Ed Harries announced the receipt of the $26,224,263 award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) State Veterans Home Grants program today.  The grant will provide the federal funding needed to build the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home.

“This project is a high priority for our state and is aligned with our commitment to serve veterans and their families,” Haslam said.  “There are more than 33,000 veterans in Bradley and Hamilton Counties and we believe this area will be well served by a high quality Tennessee State Veterans Home.”

Haslam included $3 million for the project in this year’s budget, which was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly this week.  The total state appropriations for this project are $10 million.  The City of Cleveland and Bradley County have each donated $2,010,000 to the project as well.  Local fundraising and outreach efforts have been spearheaded by the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council.  An anonymous donor has contributed $3 million to the future home, bringing the total state and local portion to $17,020,000.

This project has been supported by State Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland), Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown), Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville) as well as Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis.

“The perseverance and commitment of our state and local partners on this project has been inspirational and we are relieved to see the federal funding finally awarded for this dream come true,” Grinder said.  “We are grateful for the generosity, the vision and the unwavering sense of purpose from so many people that combined to keep this project moving forward.”

The future home will be built on 28.29 acres located on 1960 Westland Drive in Cleveland.  The property was formally accepted from Robert Wright, Steve Williams, Thomas Williams as well as American Legion Post 81 on March 11, 2016.

“This community has clearly been devoted to the quality of life these homes offer for these patriotic heroes,” Harries said.  “We are excited to be able to take the next steps in the process to make this home a reality in southeast Tennessee.”

There are currently four Tennessee State Veterans Homes; Tennessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro, W.D. Bill Manning Tennessee State Veterans Home in Humboldt, Ben Atchley Tennessee State Veterans Home in Knoxville and the Brigadier General Wendell H. Gilbert Tennessee State Veterans Home in Clarksville.

A construction start date has not been set for the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home, therefore, a timeline for completion has not been established

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