Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson joined Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a ground-breaking ceremony for a new California state veterans home on the campus of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in West Los Angeles.

VA's $113.5 million grant to construct the facility is the largest federal grant ever given for a state veterans home. It will ensure that California veterans have comfortable housing in a caring community.

"This venture marks another step in the growing partnership between VA and the state of California," said Nicholson. "We both seek the same goals - to take care of the men and women in California who have earned our respect and gratitude by their military service to our Nation."

VA transferred ownership of more than 13 acres on its West Los Angeles campus to the state to build the home. The Greater Los Angeles Ventura County Veterans Home, as it will be known, will have 396 beds providing multiple levels of care for aged and disabled veterans.

The home is scheduled to be completed by early 2010. To be eligible for admission, veterans must be California residents, honorably discharged from the U.S. military, disabled or at least 62 years of age.

VA and the state recently broke ground on two other new state veterans home satellite sites in Lancaster and Ventura counties.

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