Monday, July 14, 2008

Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

My dad is a proud marine vet who has been getting terrific care from the VA for more than 40 years. It is great to see this facility moving forward and what a way to honor Captain Lovell - a true American hero. From today's Daily Herald:

" But it was a groundbreaking ceremony this morning in North Chicago that had the biggest impact on his wife, Marilyn. She dabbed at tears as Lovell, of Lake Forest, and other dignitaries celebrated the pending construction of the Capt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, the first-ever joint Navy and Veterans Administration hospital.

"Jim has received many, many awards since flying his greatest space mission, but today has hit me the most emotionally," Marilyn Lovell explained. "I can't believe that his name is going to be on this hospital."

Set to open in 2010, the facility will be the nation's first joint Veterans Affairs/Navy hospital, said U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk of Highland Park. It will be on the grounds of the North Chicago VA Medical Center, which will merge with the nearby Great Lakes Naval Station's hospital to create the new facility.

"I'm superbly happy," Lovell said of the project. "I think this is a great idea."

When completed, the Lovell Center will serve an estimated 100,000 veterans, active-duty recruits or troops and civilian relatives annually. Plans call for the Navy facility to be demolished the following year."