GREEN BAY - The family of Milo C. Huempfner stood side by side with veterans and political leaders to officially open the new Huempfner outpatient clinic.
The clinic is located on University Avenue on the far east side of Green Bay.
Inside the facility, veterans toured their new home for health care.
"It's just huge," said U.S. Air Force veteran Gary Veeser.
For most veterans having a clinic in Green Bay will mean less travel.
"It's going to be really nice for a lot of local people. That riding to Milwaukee, that's a job for a lot of people. Myself, I don't like to drive in Milwaukee," said Veeser, who served in Vietnam.
"I think it's fantastic," added U.S. Army veteran Richard Brancecum who also served in Vietnam. "It saves me a trip down to either Milwaukee or going to Appleton because it's hard to get down there, especially in the winter time when the weather is really bad."
The clinic is named after Milo C. Huempfner, Brown County's most decorated veteran from World War II. Huempfner served in the Army and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Huempfner's children were at the ribbon cutting and tour. They say they are honored to have their father's name on the new facility.
"As our younger service men come back more damaged in a variety of ways, to have this facility bearing my father's name to serve them is just a wonderful tribute for the whole country," said Geri Huempfner.
The new clinic is 161,000 square feet. That makes it one of the largest outpatient veterans' clinics in the country. It will serve as estimated 20,000 veterans every year.
"America's veterans deserve the very best in compassionate care," said Dr. Robert Petzel, the under secretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was the keynote speaker at a short ceremony to celebrate the opening of the clinic.
Petzel says veterans should be able to receive 95 percent of their medical care at the new facility.
"Outpatient care is where medicine is going and the VA is leading that movement," Petzel said.
The clinic will offer a wide range of services, including primary care, mental health and several specialties.
"Laboratory, pharmacy, imaging services, physical therapy, audiology services, so a lot of specialty care will be done here in our facility including outpatient surgery," said clinic administrator Tim Deacy.
The state-of-the-art facility will open to patients on Monday.
About 200 people will work at the new clinic. 40 percent of them are veterans.
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