REDDING – Current and former military members, local residents and dignitaries gathered today (Oct. 25) to celebrate the long-awaited opening of a new Veterans Home in Redding.
The patriotic, red-white-and-blue-themed grand opening of the 150-bed state Veterans Home of California in Redding took place before a welcoming crowd that also included representatives from PG&E, which contributed $10,000 to support the new facility.
The home is now the eighth in the state designed to provide housing for aging veterans and their spouses. Last week, a new Veterans Home in Fresno – for which PG&E also provided a grant – opened with similar fanfare.
It had been a long and sometimes frustrating wait as the $88 million Redding home was repeatedly sidetracked, in large part because of state budget cuts. So today’s event was extra special.
The celebration included a flyover by WWII military aircraft — a 1939 T6 trainer and the L29 Soviet trainer. It also included a Scottish marching band with bagpipers playing Scotland the Brave.
Several speakers took to the podium during the event, including U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, who represents California’s 1st District. Another notable speaker was north state resident and Medal of Honor recipient James Allen Taylor. The retired U.S. Army major was awarded the military’s highest decoration for his actions in the Vietnam War.
Both young and old donned uniforms for today’s event as active and retired military personnel as well as Brownie Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sea Scouts participated.
PG&E’s contribution will help cover costs related to today’s grand opening and also will be used for another community event on Saturday. Jonathan Little, corporate affairs director for PG&E’s North region, was among those representing the company at today’s event.
The Redding home will provide housing for veterans over 55 in a comfortable environment. It will provide residential care for the elderly, including those suffering from dementia, and skilled nursing care. Residents, including 94-year-old Ford Bishop, began moving into the home this week.
Once fully operational, the facility is expected to employ 244 workers.
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