San Diego, CA – On Thursday, The United States Marine Corp celebrated the grand opening of the long-anticipated Warrior Hope and Care Center at Camp Pendleton in California, Fox 5 San Diego reports.
"Recently, we returned from Afghanistan. I had 15 Marines and sailors killed and over 130 wounded and I think of each one of those Marines and what this facility will do for them," Lt. Col. James Fullwood said."My words cannot sum up what this facility is."
The specialized care facility specifically designed to help wounded Marines, took two years to build and cost nearly $30 million.
The new 30,000 square foot facility will provide not only physical rehabilitation for the Marine and his or her family, but also emotional support and recreational services.
These include: a full rock wall, Olympic style track, amphitheater, state of the art gym equipment and an underwater treadmill, which officials say is one of only a few that exist on the entire west coast.
The facility couldn't have come soon enough for Marines like Gunnery Sgt. Paul McQuigg, who was hit by a roadside bomb. Until Thursday, McQuigg had to mostly depend on going to a series of different facilities for care and at times even had to rehab independently.
"My vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device," McQuigg said. "In the past, every individual unit was doing the best they could to take care of their wounded or injured."
"When a Marine is injured, it doesn't just affect that Marine, it affects the entire family as a whole," McQuigg said.
"It gives the service member and their families hope in seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and they are given the means to get to that light," said McQuigg.