The start of school means changing traffic patterns along with increased traffic volume and congestion. With that in mind, I’d like to remind everyone to slow down and pay attention to school buses picking up or dropping off children.
In this update, I’d like to encourage attendance at the Virginia War Memorial’s Patriot Day ceremony; forward the announcement of Fort Lee’s POW-MIA National Recognition Luncheon; provide an update on our Virginia Veteran Care Centers; give notice on the closing of ITT Technical Institute; and announce a future location change for the Virginia National Guard Headquarters.
15th Anniversary of 9-11
This Sunday we remember that terrible day in 2001 and pay tribute not only to those innocents that lost their lives in the planes and on the ground, but to all those courageous passengers on Flight 93 that prevented an attack on an unknown fourth target. Also in our prayers are the first responders, public servants, and civilians, who with little or no regard for their own personal safety, responded to save lives on that fateful day.
The Virginia War Memorial will hold a ceremony commemorating this day on Sunday, 11 September, at 2:00 p.m. in the Amphitheater.
Fort Lee commemorates National POW-MIA Recognition Day
Fort Lee will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and POW/MIA National Recognition day with a luncheon on Thursday, 15 September, 1100-1300 hours at the Lee Club.
Virginia Beach Veteran Care Center
As someone committed to taking care of our veterans, I was pleased to introduce HB477 during the 2016 General Assembly Session that authorized the building of two new veterans care centers, one in Northern Virginia and one in Hampton Roads.
The new Hampton Roads veterans care center will be built in the Princess Anne section of Virginia Beach on a 24-acre site next to the planned extension of Nimmo Parkway. The land for the site was donated by the City of Virginia Beach at no cost to the state. The 120-bed facility will feature all private rooms that will be organized into households and neighborhoods that surround a central community center.
Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center in Richmond
The Virginia Beach veterans care center will be the Commonwealth’s fourth veterans care center. It will join the Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke, which opened in 1992; the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center in Richmond, which opened in 2008; and the recently announced Puller Veterans Care Center, to be built in Fauquier County. Construction of the new Virginia Beach and Fauquier County veterans care centers is slated to begin in late 2017 and be completed in late 2019.
“The new veterans care center will deliver top-quality care to Virginia veterans in a home-like setting,” stated John C. Harvey, Jr., Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs. “The construction of this state-of-the-art facility demonstrates Virginia’s continued dedication to providing excellent services to our veterans and their families.”
For more information on this announcement click here.
Closing of ITT Technical Institute
Last week, the Department of Education (ED) took a series of steps to protect students and taxpayers by banning ITT Technical Institute schools from enrolling new students using federal financial aid funds, The ED also significantly stepped up financial oversight of the for-profit education provider.
As a result, effective 6 September 2016, ITT Technical Institute has discontinued operations at ALL campuses. This means GI Bill benefits can no longer be used for any future classes at ITT, including the monthly housing allowance. This applies even if enrollment for the upcoming term was already submitted to VA for classes at ITT beginning after the end of the summer quarter, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) cannot pay for it. This includes payments under any GI Bill benefit program including the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. VA does not have the legal authority to restore any GI Bill benefits you have used to attend ITT, even if you are not finished with the classes this term.
Virginia National Guard breaks ground on new HQ
Senior officials from state government, the Virginia National Guard, Defense Supply Center Richmond and the Guard’s construction partners broke ground on the new state headquarters facility on 16 August 2016 at Defense Supply Center Richmond in Chesterfield County. The 102,000 square foot facility will be built on a 13.6-acre site, cost approximately $30 million and construction should be completed by February 2018. It will provide workspace for the Adjutant General of Virginia, the Virginia National Guard Joint Staff and Air National Guard Staff currently located at Mullins Readiness Center in Sandston.