Bristol veterans rejoiced on Saturday during their annual Veteran's Day celebration and the ribbon cutting for their new home.
The Bristol County Chorus directed by Joan Roth and the Mt. Hope High School band were on hand for the celebration in the spacious brand new Rhode Island Veterans Home hall that was packed with veterans and their families as well as Governor Gina Raimondo and federal, state and local officials.
Veterans home director retired Army Brigadier General Rick Baccus played host during the ceremony that included many speakers including Governor Raimondo.
"Over 16 major trades have contributed to building this beautiful new home for our honored veterans, and the pride in their work is evident in every detail. I'm proud that Rhode Island is now leading the way in recognizing the sacrifice of those who've served our great nation. Our veterans deserve nothing less," said the Governor.
After the high school band played the U.S. Armed Forces Medley, guests were invited to take unguided tours of the new 208 bed facility that allows veterans to live in their own private bedrooms and baths. The veterans live in 16 man pods that are equipped with a kitchen and dining area, TV room with a fireplace and medical conference area. The facility also has a central location for social activities, a chapel, salon, coffee shop, library and other services.
Veterans were moved into their new home prior to Veteran's Day with the help of the Bristol Police and Fire Departments and other volunteers.
Vietnam era veteran John Leonard and his daughter Heidi headed to the veteran’s spacious room at the new veterans home.
While he loves his new room and the new layout. “We get hot food every day,” he quipped. He also said that he misses some of his friends that he got to see everyday at the old building.