AURORA – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today delivered remarks at the new Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center’s ribbon cutting ceremony. The event signaled the beginning of the transition to the replacement facility to provide care for veterans in the Rocky Mountain region.
For nearly a decade, Bennet has partnered with the Colorado veterans community and Colorado lawmakers to ensure the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center would be completed and that future VA construction projects are effectively managed. In 2015, he requested and secured a field hearing on the replacement medical facility project in Aurora with the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Bennet also passed bipartisan legislation to transfer VA construction management to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He also has passed legislation to change the culture at the VA, give employees tools to punish wrongdoing, and strengthen protections for whistleblowers.
“This project is a credit to the perseverance and doggedness of Colorado’s veterans,” Bennet said. “Now, hundreds of thousands of Rocky Mountain veterans will be able to receive to the world-class care they deserve…After all our veterans have done for us, that is the least we can do for them.”
Bennet’s full remarks as prepared for delivery are below:
You’ve waited long enough for this day, so I promise to be brief. It has been a long road to this day – too long, really. And over the years, there have been more people critical to this day than I can possibly mention this afternoon.
Put simply, this project is a credit to the perseverance and doggedness of Colorado’s veterans. As this project faced unimaginable hurdles and setbacks, you insisted that our Congressional delegation demand accountability. You insisted that we stay tough, and that we stay together. Your message to us was simple: “build the damn thing.” And because of your tenacity and your persistence, we finally have.
Now, hundreds of thousands of Rocky Mountain veterans will be able to receive to the world-class care they deserve. Although today is a milestone, we know there is more work to do. And I know that our Colorado veterans will not rest until we make Colorado the best place for our servicemembers, veterans, and their families to serve, live, and retire.
After all our veterans have done for us, that is the least we can do for them. Thanks everyone, and congratulations on this achievement.