The VA cut the ribbon on central Texas's first medical foster home for veterans Thursday.
The home joins the ranks of more than 80 just like it all over the country.
Navy veteran Virginia Hernandez has always liked to stand on her own two feet.
"I did everything for myself, I worked and everything, and all of the sudden, I ended up having to depend on others," she said.
She had to move in with family when her vision started to fail.
"I was tired of it, I wanted to have my own place," said Virginia.
Now she's getting that chance at the new medical foster home in Harker Heights.
"This independence, it makes me free. I don't feel like I have to wait on people," Virginia said.
At the house, she and her two roommates get 24 hour medical care, meals and transportation for a fraction of the cost of nursing home care.
Air Force veteran Michael Shields also likes to live on his own, but he needs a few allies in is battle against leukemia.
He said, "There's going to be days, where it's not going to be so good for me, and I think these folks here are compassionate and helpful, and they're going to do nice things for me."
There are lots of ways they're making things easier for the veterans, like spacious hallways and fully equipped restrooms to help them live more independently.
"It means a lot to me, because I think everybody when you're my age, we need that," said Virginia and Michael's roommate Ann, the widow of WWII Navy veteran John Lockhart.
Tiffany Love is the medical foster home coordinator for the VA.
She says, "We never want to take away our veterans independence, we want them to feel like they are a part of a community and like what they have to offer still matters."
"They make me feel like I'm loved, they're taking care of me, and they want to make sure that we're all ok, and I like that," said Virginia.
So a new lease on this home fosters a new lease on life.
The VA is looking to expand the program in Central Texas, but they will need more caregivers.
Call Tiffany at (254)742-4927 to find out how you might be able to help.
Reporter: Sophia Stamas firstname.lastname@example.org
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