TIFTON, GA (WALB) - A new clinic is now open specifically for south Georgia veterans.
The Carl Vinson VA Medical Center opened a new clinic in Tifton.
And veterans thrilled that the facility is finally ready to serve them. Hundreds gathered for its grand opening on Wednesday, something vets have been fighting a long time to get.
The ribbon was cut and the doors opened for thousands of men and women who once served our country.
"It's a wish we have been waiting on celebrating this special day celebrating the opening for the veterans in this Tifton area," said Clinical Nurse Manager Donna Ammons.
Organizers said that the opening wouldn't have been possible if not for the veterans who fought for it.
"It's in response to veterans really advocating on their own behalf and lobbying with their congressional representatives," explained Director of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center Maryalice Morro.
Jack Stone was one of those veterans.
"We didn't have one in Southwest Georgia," said Stone. "This is something we have been needing for a long, long time. We have had this in the works for about 8 years."
For those eight years, many veterans had been traveling to Albany, Tallahassee and most often Dublin.
"They have been traveling far and wide to get the clinic they deserve and now it is right in their backyard," explained Morro.
There are five thousand veterans within a 40 mile radius of the clinic that is designed to offer outpatient primary and mental health care.
"It is going to allow us to give care to our veterans closer to where they live. It's going to allow us to deliver a higher quality of healthcare and just a much faster turn around for our veterans," said Congressman Austin Scott.
"I don't have to travel and spend all that money on travel to get there," explained veteran Donald Chandanais. "I love maybe a mile from here now."
Veterans who came out on Wednesday said they no longer have to hope for better and closer care.
"We don't have to hope. We have it now and we know its going to be a real, real good VA clinic," said Stone.
The clinic has had appointments in the last couple of weeks. On Wednesday people took tours of the new facility and made appointments for the future.