Kelly, Sinema, Gosar Introduce Bill to Pave the Way for Gila County Veterans Center
Today, Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema introduced the Pleasant Valley Administrative Site Proposal, legislation that would pave the way for the creation of a veterans retreat and community center for the nearly 5,500 military veterans who call Gila County home. This legislation supports Gila County’s existing plans by transferring an underutilized Forest Service ranger station near Young, Arizona, known as the Pleasant Valley Administrative Site, and its accompanying 232.9 acres of Forest Service land to the county for use as a veterans retreat and community center. The community center will provide a gathering space for veterans and their families to host retreats, meetings, and other events. The area would also serve as a location for a mobile veterans clinic for veterans who cannot easily access a VA Medical Center.
The bicameral, bipartisan effort is being introduced by U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-04) in the House.
“As a 25-year veteran of the Navy, I have made it my mission to ensure that the federal government lives up to its commitment to our military veterans and families who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Senator Mark Kelly who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Gila County veterans deserve a place to gather and receive services in their community, and today we are taking an important step towards making that a reality.”
“Completing this Gila County land transfer will open the door for new support services for veterans across the region. We’re proud to partner with Senator Kelly and Supervisor Cline to ensure Arizona veterans get the support and benefits they’ve earned,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
“I am proud to support this effort to create more opportunities for our veterans in Gila County through the transfer of these facilities and this land to the local community. Too often our communities that are landlocked by surrounding federal land have few opportunities to create these critically needed services. By working with the Forest Service and transferring these underutilized facilities to the county we are creating a win-win, a win for our veterans and a win for our local community,” stated Congressman Gosar, DDS (AZ-04).
“We are excited to provide a first-class veterans facility in a unique, peaceful and beautiful rural setting,” said Gila County District 3 Supervisor Woody Cline. “Thanks to Senator Kelly and Senator Sinema’s commitment to veterans, this legislation moves us closer to providing programs and services that will benefit veterans and families in Gila County and across Arizona.”
“The proposed veteran’s facility will be an important resource for the veterans of our White Mountain Apache Tribe. I’m in full support of this important project legislation by Senator Kelly and Senator Sinema for Gila County and our state,” said District 2 White Mountain Apache Tribal Councilman Jerold Altaha.
“The Pleasant Valley Veterans Association with a membership of over 60, enthusiastically and wholeheartedly support Senator Kelly and Senator Sinema’s legislation to continue the efforts of Gila County’s continued acquisition and development of the Pleasant Valley Veterans Camp,” said Gary Lollman, President Pleasant Valley Veterans Association. “This facility has the potential to not only benefit the veterans of our community, but veterans and their families from across the state of Arizona.”
Read the full text of the legislation HERE.