With the quick snip of a ribbon, Austin’s new Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic received a warm, grand opening celebration.
The new building currently sits on Metropolis Drive in Southeast Austin, but that’s about to change. The street will soon be renamed Veterans Way.
The new facility is three times larger than the old building and is built to keep up with the growing number of veterans in the state. It's the largest of its kind in the nation.
"And it's very fitting that we have the largest VA outpatient clinic in the United States,” Republican Rep. Michael McCaul said. “Because when you go overseas and you ask people where they're from, most of the time they're going to tell you, ‘I'm from Texas.’"
Nearly 24,000 unique patients were served at the clinic's old facility during the last fiscal year. By 2025, that number is expected to jump to more than 30,000.
"Through the years I've heard many complaints, usually the complaint was, ‘They need reinforcements,’” Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett said. “Finally, reinforcements with almost the doubling of the size of the clinic's staff, are here."
The man who believed to be the nation's oldest living veteran—Richard Overton at 107 years old—was also honored at Thursday's ceremony. He served in World War II.