AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Secretary of Veterans Affairs said Tuesday Central Texas is the third-fastest growing region in the country for veterans.

Secretary Denis McDonough toured the VA clinic in Cedar Park Tuesday morning to talk about the importance of the region.

“That’s why last year we opened new facilities in Killeen and Copperas Cove. That’s why we are, why we’ve arranged funding of new facilities in San Marcos and Pflugerville. These are all opportunities for us to reach our veterans, who have earned and deserved world-class healthcare,” Secretary McDonough told a press conference at the clinic.

McDonough and Congressman John Carter, R-Texas, also revealed while the VA dealt with a record number of claims in 2022, the nation is already on pace to break that in 2023.

McDonough also visited facilities in Austin and San Antonio, according to a press release from the Department of Veterans Affairs.