Past Wars, Future Costs

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The new VA hospital in Las Vegas, shown under construction in 2010, opened in August.

Too often we tend to focus on the here-and-now costs of the wars we’re waging. Every once in awhile we need to be reminded that such costs don’t end when the wars do.

Interesting article in Site Selection: The Magazine of Corporate Real Estate Strategy & Area Economic Development about the Department of Veterans Affairs construction program.

The VA is “in the midst of the biggest infrastructure improvement program it’s seen since the end of World War II,” Site Selection reports. It’s building VA hospitals in Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Orlando, with a pair planned in Louisville and Omaha.

Robert Neary, Jr., the acting executive director of the VA’s Office of Construction & Facilities Management, says the agency currently is spending $11 billion building new facilities to help the vets of today and tomorrow as they age and ail.

That works out to about $35 per American.