Dream Design breaks the ground for the Rapid City VA ambulance |  Local

PHOTOS: Groundbreaking ceremony for VA ambulance

Late. John Thune

Senator John Thune listens to speakers during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Veterans Affairs Community-Based Ambulance Clinic on Friday.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

Hani Shafi

Hani Shafi

Hani Shafi, CEO and President of Dream Design International, welcomes state lawmakers, Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden, U.S. Senator John Thune, local elected officials, organizations and members of the public at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Veterans Affairs Community-Based Ambulance Clinic on Friday. The clinic should be ready by 2023.


Siandhara bonnet


Jason Salamun and Hani Shafi

Jason Salamun and Hani Shafi

Rapid City Council member Jason Salamun greeted the crowd on behalf of the city at the community-based Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic that broke Friday.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

Hani Shafi and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Marlette

Hani Shafi and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Marlette

Hani Shafi, President and CEO of Dream Design International, shakes hands with Maj. General Jeffrey Marlette as he steps up to the podium on Friday to make his remarks.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

Thun and Rhoden

Thun and Rhoden

U.S. Senator John Thune and South Dakota Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden are waiting to deliver their remarks during the Veterans Affairs ambulance groundbreaking on Friday.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

District Commissioner

District Commissioner

Pennington County Commissioners Ron Rossknecht and Travis Lasseter hear Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden on Friday during the cornerstone ceremony of the VA outpatient clinic.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

Sandra Horsman

Sandra Horsman

Sandra Horsman, director of VA Black Hills Health Care Systems, comments during the groundbreaking ceremony for the VA outpatient clinic on Friday.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

Late. John Thune

Late.  John Thune

Senator John Thune made remarks Friday at the VA outpatient clinic’s cornerstone ceremony. The clinic will replace the previous clinic on Fifth Street.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

VA community outpatient clinic pioneering

VA community outpatient clinic pioneering

The crowd applauds after the groundbreaking ceremony for the Veterans Affairs Community-Based Ambulance Clinic on Friday.


Siandhara Bonnet, contributor to the magazine

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It will also include whole health services like chiropractic, yoga, and healthy eating habits.

Sandra Horsman, director of the VA Black Hills Health Care System, said she was humble with the state’s commitment to serving veterans when she moved to the area about six years ago.

“It’s a healing environment, we’ll be able to expand our services,” said Horsman.

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The current facility on Fifth Street is approximately 17,000 square feet, she said.

Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden said the project had been on the drawing board for 17 years.

“We can never repay the enormous sacrifices our veterans have made for the security of our nation, but continuing to cut red tape to facilitate return to civilian life and building facilities like this is one way we can try “, he said.

Thune said he found by working on the facility that when working with the government, people have to play the long game. He said they played the long game with Ellsworth Air Force Base, Veterans Affairs in Hot Springs, and the underground laboratory.

“Sometimes it takes years and years of dedication, determination, investment and willingness on the part of people to roll up their sleeves and go to work,” he said.