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Virginia Beach breaks ground on 128-bed veterans care center

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Rendering of Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care courtesy of city of Virginia Beach

Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Beach Mayor William D. Sessoms Jr. led city and military veteran leaders Wednesday in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center.

The 128-bed facility will be built in Virginia Beach’s bio health corridor on a 26-acre site near the intersection of Nimmo Parkway and West Neck Road on land donated by the city at no cost to the state.

““I am proud to be here today to break ground on the new Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care center, named for two Tidewater natives, who bravely served both Virginia and our nation,” McAuliffe said in a statement.

The center will join other partner organizations that are part of the VABeachBio Initiative, which aims to attract biomedical and health-care businesses to Virginia Beach.

The corridor, in the Princess Anne Commons area, already is home to a number of regional partners, including LifeNet Health’s world headquarters and Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Operation Smile’s world headquarters, Sentara Princess Anne Hospital and two facilities operated by Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters.

The center will offer an on-site laboratory, X-rays, physical therapy and other ancillary healthcare services including Alzheimer's/dementia care and short-term rehabilitative services.

“We are proud that Virginia Beach was chosen for the new veterans care center,” Sessoms said in a statement. “The thousands of active duty service members, family members, and veterans who live and work here are a critical part of this community.”

When completed in 2020, the Jones & Cabacoy Veterans Care Center will be one of four veterans care centers in Virginia.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct.  26 for the new 128-bed Puller Veterans Care Center, which will be constructed simultaneously in Fauquier County.

These two new  centers join the Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke, opened in 1992, and the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center in Richmond, opened in 2007.  They are operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services.

The Jones & Cabacoy center is named in honor of two war heroes. According to bios provided by the governor’s office:

Col. William A. Jones III was born in Norfolk. He graduated from West Point in 1945 and transferred to the newly formed U.S. Air Force. He served in the Vietnam War with distinction and received the Medal of Honor for acts of gallantry and intrepidity in action when, in 1968, he went on a rescue mission to retrieve a fellow pilot, took on enemy fire, managed to return to base safely and conveyed information to save the pilot before seeking medical treatment for himself. Jones died in an airplane accident near Woodbridge in 1969.

Army Staff Sergeant Christopher F. Cabacoy was a Virginia Beach native. He graduated from Tallwood High School in 1997 and studied engineering at Old Dominion University before joining the U.S. Army in 2000. He served 10 years with distinction in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 1st Squadron, 71st Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division based at Ft. Drum, N.Y. He died on July 5, 2010,  when insurgents in Kandahar, Afghanistan,  attacked his vehicle with a homemade bomb.

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