North Carolina's first Department of Military and Veterans Affairs center now open

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The state's first Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is now open for business.

Hundreds of veterans gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning at the historic Seaboard building in downtown Raleigh, which is the newly-created department's center.

Governor Pat McCrory, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Cornell Wilson, and Assistant Secretary Ilario Pantano were also in attendance.

The department is meant to streamline services for veterans and active duty military, as well as their families. The center will help them access resources they need.

Some Marines stationed in Raleigh said the new center will greatly benefit local vets.

"They help us a lot with getting jobs," Darren Procter said. "We're grateful for the VA."

"I think it's just going to be a new spot to help vets get to a better place," Corp. Nicole Blankenship said. "Help ones that don't have jobs, even ones that are just coming back. I think it'll help them a lot."

Tuesday's ceremony also fell on the 240th Birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps, and just one day shy of Veteran's Day.

"Two hundred and 40 years of honor, courage and commitment," Marine Justin Jacobs said. "It means everything to us. It's just a brotherhood, sisterhood for female Marines as well."

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