Veterans State Home Site Blessing and RRU Ribbon Cutting Ceremony - Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center
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Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center


Veterans State Home Site Blessing and RRU Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

May 21, 2013

Print Version (MS Word)

Walla Walla, WA – The Jonathan M. Wainwright VA Medical Center (Walla Walla VAMC), along with Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) invites Veterans and the community to a dual ceremony to be held at the Walla Walla VA Medical on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

Starting at 1:30 pm, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will perform a traditional Native American blessing (KII-ILAKA-WIN-WEETES-HIIWES-HAAWTNIN, translated to mean “This Lighted Earth is Sacred”) of the land prior to breaking ground.  Members of the Nez Perce, Warm Springs and Yakama have been invited to participate in the blessing as well.  This project is unique because the State Veterans Home will be built on the grounds of the Federal VA Medical Center.  It also has the support of the City of Walla Walla, the Walla Walla Veterans Task Force and local Veterans community.

Following the blessing ceremony, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the newly completed Residential Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) Bldg.  The RRU, also referred to as the Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (RRTP), opened in 1972 to provide substance abuse treatment for Veterans. Both men and women Veterans are welcome in this new 36-bed facility, which replaced an aging building.

WDVA’s new director, Lourdes E. (Alfie) Alvarado-Ramos and other staff will be in attendance, as well as Mr. Lawrence Carroll, VA Northwest Network’s new Director, Mayor Jim Barrow, other city officials, and staff from Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) offices. 

Everyone is invited to a bbq, refreshments, and a celebration cake following the 2 ceremonies, provided by the Walla Walla VAMC’s Veterans Canteen Service.  Music during the bbq will be provided by a local group, “She Bought the Farm”, featuring the Turner family.  Tours of the new RRU Unit will be available following the conclusion of the ceremonies. 

To finish off the events of the day, all are also invited to a Joint Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee and Walla Walla Veterans Task Force Meeting that will be held at Walla Walla VAMC’s Theater to share with the community an update on the new state home and the progress of the new OPC.

Mark your calendars and be sure to come to the festivities next Tuesday, May 28th.  For more information, contact Linda Wondra, Public Affairs Officer at the Walla Walla VAMC or Heidi Audette, Communications Director at WDVA.

Open this link for the announcement:  Event Announcement 

Media Contact:
Linda Wondra, Public Affairs Officer
Walla Walla VA Medical Center (email)
(509) 525-5200, Ext. 22811
(509) 301-1303 (cell)

Heidi Audette, Communications Director
WA State Department of Veterans Affairs (email)
(360) 725-2154 (office)
(360) 791-8966 (cell)

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