New Veterans Affairs Office opens

Nebraska is leading the way when it comes to taking care of our veterans. And there was more proof of that today. Construction is now complete on a brand new regional office, which will serve Nebraska's 150,000 veterans. And it will do so with meticulous efficiency inspired by the those they serve.

I think we can all agree our veterans deserve the best. “It's just amazing what they've done, it's gonna serve the veteran very well,” Veteran Jim Varejcka said.

And a who's who of Nebraska politicians said Friday the new regional affairs office will do just that. Senator Mike Johanns says the new facility is more important now than it ever has been. “In 2009, the VA received over 1 million claims for the first time in history,” Sen. Johanns said.

This increase has added a great deal of pressure to the director of Veteran Affairs in Nebraska who is now serving a brand new generation of veterans. “It's a very difficult time in the VA. We're a nation at war, we have claims coming in left an right. But, our commitment is unwavering,” Director of Nebraska VA Loren Miller said.

But, Nebraska has a reputation of filing claims for Veterans faster than almost anywhere else in the nation. Usually within 90 days, while the national average is 160. “They do that wile doing it at a quality level that is much higher than the rest of the country. So, high volume of work at a high quality,” Michael Walcoff said.

Michael Walcoff helps head things up with the VA for the entire nation. He's trying to advance the organization by paying out claims to veterans within weeks of when they were made and directing them to doctors outside the Veterans medical center.

“That's what we're talking about when we talk about transforming the VA. And making it into a 21st century organization. That's what we're doing nationwide and Lincoln is leading the way.”

The new Veteran affairs regional office is located near the intersection of 38th and Old Cheney in lincoln.