A new state-run veterans retirement home may soon be coming to Horry County

HORRY COUNTY SC (WBTW) — A new state-run veterans retirement home may soon be coming to Horry County.

Horry County has the fastest growing veteran population in the nation, according to Horry County Director of Veterans Affairs Ronald Elvis Jr.

Elvis said this retirement home is a game-changer for veterans in the area.

Elvis said the VA will work with the VA state office to establish one in Horry County in the near future.

“I think we’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time,” said US Air Force veteran George Bontya. “With Horry County’s population of over 33,000 vets and growing daily, a nursing home and maybe two are needed here in this county.”

Many Vietnam-era veterans are reaching an age where they will soon need assisted care and additional services.

“When my time comes, I wish I had a place here, where I could go and finally retire too, where I could be taken care of, or else I think I should go, it’s either Columbia, be Charleston,” said U.S. Army veteran Dr. Martha Fernicola.

At present, Elvis said the region is dealing with it well, but the problem will get worse in the next few years.

South Carolina’s veteran population is expected to grow 7% each year. Elvis said locally it grew 11% last year.

The county is also working on a variety of ideas to bring more services to veterans in all areas of the county.

Elvis said they are looking at ways to provide mobile services for veterans and open more places to get help in Horry County.

“For the past six months, we have been on a trail run with the VA clinic in Myrtle Beach. We have an office there on Wednesdays. Out of my own pocket, I’m sending two people to work there, again, it’s at the VA clinic, so there’s no cost to the county, Elvis said.

Elvis said a lot of progress on the retirement home project was being negotiated.

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