ALABASTER, Ala. – Veterans in Shelby County have a new no-cost resource in Alabaster to support and assist their personal and Veteran-related needs.

On Tuesday, nearly 100 people gathered for a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the Alabaster Veterans Center (AVC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) Commissioner Kent Davis, Board of Directors President Lt. Col. Paul Gonthier, Board of Directors Vice President Lt. Col. James Billings, and Alabaster Mayor Scott Brakefield each spoke about the opportunities the new center brings Shelby County’s 12,000-plus Veterans.

“The Alabaster Veterans Center is going to be a wonderful resource for the Veterans in the greater Alabaster area,” said Commissioner Davis. “The partnership between American Legion Post 138 and the City of Alabaster is a true example of what is possible when there is a shared priority to help serve Veterans.”

Alabaster Mayor Scott Brakefield (left), Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Kent Davis (middle), and Alabaster Veterans Center President Lt. Col. Paul Gonthier

The AVC will allow Veterans in Shelby County to utilize and find the resources needed to navigate the many available programs, including job fairs, health screenings, employment seminars, and linking Veterans to health and educational benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Tuesday’s grand opening completed a mission spanning nearly a year. The Alabaster City Council approved a resolution allowing American Legion Post 138 to utilize the city building, located on 1st Street SW, and organize and ultimately establish the AVC.

The Alabaster Veterans Center joins the ADVA’s Veterans Service Office in Columbiana as a no-cost resource for Veterans in Shelby County. The ADVA has a Veterans Service Office in 60 of the state’s 67 counties.