Governor and dignitaries celebrate opening of Ventura veteran's home Published Dec. 6, 2009 By Master Sgt. Dave Buttner 146 AW VENTURA, Calif. -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Congressman Elton Gallegly took part in the grand opening of the new veteran's facility in Ventura Dec. 4. Members of the 146th Airlift Wing and other dignitaries attended the ceremony for the new 60-bed veterans home in east Ventura. Spotting the location was easy with "Old Glory" waving proudly over the facility which could be seen from miles away flying over the surrounding buildings. The opening of the veteran's home is the culmination of nearly two decades of planning and a five-year journey that took concept to concrete. The Governor did the honors of cutting the ribbon to open the new facility with the help of California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Roger Brautigan. He spoke to the crowd about the contribution our veterans have made to our freedom. "This is a place where they can be comfortable and honored, just as they served and honored our country," said Schwarzenegger. Veterans will be able to move in by early January, after the facility goes through a period of review and licensing. According to the Cal Vet website, a significant portion of the mission of the California Department of Veterans Affairs is to provide the state's aged or disabled veterans with rehabilitative, residential, and medical care and services in a home-like environment at the California Veterans Homes. This is the fourth home in the state; the first was opened in Yountville 125 years ago in 1884 and is the largest of its kind in the country. These homes not only provide medical services but activities including physical fitness facilities, arts and crafts, gardening, social events and a place where veterans groups can meet. It is a true home for those who have served our country. Some 65,000 veterans reside in Ventura County, according to state officials. In the past, veterans from this area have relocated as far away as Barstow, leaving family members, medical caregivers and other support behind. The facility on East Telegraph Road will provide beds for veterans age 62 and older who need special medical care. To learn more or find out how to volunteer visit http://www.calvet.ca.gov.