New VA Clinic Groundbreaking

Community and state leaders gathered at the groundbreaking for the new Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic today in Lufkin.

"I am so pleased that we have such a great clinic for our veterans coming to this center in East Texas! We owe our veterans the best service and this commitment is a huge commitment," said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Wilson is still recovering from a recent heart surgery and was unable to attend, but those who know him tell us he is extremely honored.

"He was very, very excited! He said, "If there's anything that I would want named for me, it's a veteran's clinic," because that was a hallmark of his service," Hutchison told us.

Congressman Louie Gohmert said, "That's Charlie! a lot of people had a lot of things to say about him, and one of those things was, he always had a heart for our veterans."

Once completed, the new clinic will replace the one on West Frank Street. After almost 17 years, patients and staff have outgrown the current VA clinic.

Athony Zolo, Chief Medical Officer at the Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic in Lufkin, said, "This new building will be more than twice as large than the current building. It will have more than twice the amount of parking that the current building has and we'll finally be able to get in under one roof so that the veterans have only one place to go to get their services.

"I was here when we dedicated the current VA clinic to Charlie Wilson and renamed it the Charles Wilson Veterans Clinic. So this is an even better day. We're going to have a better clinic for East Texas," Gohmert added.

The new VA clinic is expected to be completed in 2009.