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Talihina veterans home closure on hold in Eastern Oklahoma

The Talihina veterans home wasset to close by Oct. 1, however, plans to close the facility are on hold while the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs works with legislators to find another solution.

In a press release, Sen. Warren Hamilton (R-McCurtain) wrote after meetings and conversations with state leaders, the ODVA halted the acceleration of the home’s closure. On June 22, the Oklahoma Veterans Commission hadvoted to close the home.

Hamilton wrote the state cannot fail veterans, and leaders are obligated to serve them first. Convinced that members of Oklahoma’s government are committed to veterans, Hamilton has hope for the home.

“I am confident that future plans will ensure that our veterans receive the care they need and their lives are not unduly disrupted during this time of transition,” Hamilton wrote.

The 175-bed facility currently houses 36 residents. It costs about $500,000 a month in operations. ODVA estimates the state will lose more than $5 million if the home remains open, though it would’ve cost $4 million to close the facility.

A new facility in Sallisaw of the same size is set to open in October 2024. The new home – about 70 miles north of the old one – was always intended to replace the Talihina, though originally, that facility would close following the opening of the new one.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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