The Cheyenne VA Medical Center cut the ribbon on its new Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Facility Friday afternoon.

"This $7 million state-of-the-art facility will be unique to the Cheyenne community and enable us to better care for veterans that need focused support in a residential community setting designed to bridge the gap between outpatient care services and long-term psychiatric in-patient hospitalization," said Cheyenne VA Interim Director Paul Roberts.

The 10-bed facility will support veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or substance abuse through a five to seven week residential program.

"The facility was built here in Cheyenne so that our veterans could stay close to home instead of having to head to other programs like in Sheridan, Denver, or Hot Springs, South Dakota," said Irene Johnson, Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program Manager. "They can transition better in and out of the outpatient services as well as stay close to family."

The 12,843 square foot facility, which was completed two months ahead of schedule, boasts family meeting rooms, group therapy rooms, individual counseling rooms, a training kitchen and a laundry room.

"Who would ever think that I would be standing here today in this facility because of the service we did in World War II and other wars," said WWII Veteran and former Cheyenne Mayor Bill Nation.

"We have this brand new facility that is here to be able to take care of our veterans in future years," said Cheyenne Mayor and Vietnam Veteran Rick Kaysen. "It may be a physical, it may be a mental, it may be an emotional issue that they are struggling with, but there's somebody here who cares."

"This is important not just for the current veterans that we take care of, this is important for current troops that are serving our country all over the world that are going to be veterans," said Roberts.

Roberts added, "When a soldier rucks up and goes into harms way, they're hoping that someone down the road is going to be able to help them out, support them and take care of them when they need it and that's us, that is the VA, that is our mission."

Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media
Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media

More From KOWB 1290