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Texas Veterans and the Ways We Honor Them

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The Lone Star State is proud of its veterans, and offers many programs and benefits to help and honor them in any way we can. The Texas Veterans Commission is just one organization striving to aid our veterans. There are many others. For those who are looking for benefits and services for Texas veterans, we have listed a few starting places here. To our veterans and their families, we thank you for your service, and honor your sacrifice.

The Texas Veterans Commission

According to its web site, “The Texas Veterans Commission was created in 1927 as the State Service Office to assist veterans of the Indian wars, Spanish-American War and World War I. Our purpose has always been to act as the state appointed advocate of Texas veterans as they attempt to secure the benefits rightfully earned in exchange for their service in our nation’s armed forces. We are able to do this through our four program areas:

Claims Representation and Counseling serves veterans, their dependents and survivors, in all matters pertaining to veterans’ disability benefits and rights. It is the designated agency of the state of Texas to represent the State and its veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Veterans Employment Services offers employment services to Texas veterans and helps employers find qualified veteran job applicants. The goal of these services is to match veteran job seekers with the best employment opportunities available.

Veterans Education Program approves all programs for Chapter 30, 33, 35, 1606, and 1607 federal educational benefits. Through an approval process, the Texas Veterans Commission ensures that institutions and employers are in compliance with federal guidelines and are qualified to provide the type of training offered.

Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance is a program that makes grants available to eligible charitable organizations, local government agencies, and Veterans Service Organizations that provide direct services to Texas veterans and their families.

Texas Wide Open For Veterans

Texas Wide Open for Veterans connects veterans and those who are looking for them for jobs, etc. As explained by their web site, “Texas values veterans. Your training, your skills, your experiences…Texas was built by people just like you, and our businesses and industries want what you have to offer. Explore our site, and see the resources available to veterans. Watch the video, and hear why civilian life in Texas is good for veterans. And when you’re ready, learn about job opportunities in the state. If you have specific questions or needs, contact us and we’ll be happy to help. The labor climate is thriving in Texas! The Lone Star state has led the nation in job growth for years with sustained job growth in every field. With no individual income tax, veterans in Texas get to keep more of their hard earned dollars.”

There is also plenty to do for the veteran on vacation or the retired veteran, since Texas boasts of over ninety state parks, one hundred and seventy-five lakes, eleven coastal driving loops, and over four hundred private campgrounds. As they explain, “Texas’s robust economy, lower cost of living, and variety of jobs available make the state attractive for job seekers. Add no personal income taxes to healthy economic climate, and Texans have a lower cost of living while keeping more of what they earn.”

Texas Veterans Portal

As their web site shares, “Welcome! The Texas Veterans Portal is a resource for veterans, their families, and their survivors. We have compiled helpful information from many government agencies here so you can find the assistance, services, and benefits you need. For immediate assistance, call 2-1-1 or 1-800-252-VETS (8387) or contact us at info@tvc.state.tx.us.” This site shares information about more benefits and programs that are available to veterans and their families.

Veterans Land Board

Their web site says it all. “Since the days of the Republic, Texas has always supported her veterans in return for their military service. In the early days, it was in the form of land given by the state for military service in the Texas Revolution. In 1946, this tradition was formally recognized with the creation of the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) to administer benefits exclusively for Texas veterans. Since then, more than 200,000 VLB loans have been funded for Texas veterans. For over half a century, the VLB has been keeping the promise to serve Texas veterans, for life.”

Here are the services they offer:
1. Land Loans
The foundation of the VLB is to help Texan veterans buy their piece of Texas with low-interest, long-term land loans.
2. Home Loans
In 1983, the Legislature created the Veterans Housing Assistance Program to help Texas veterans buy homes with special, low-interest loans for home purchase. Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the issuance of bonds to fund the program.
3. Home Improvement Loans
In 1986, the VLB expanded the Veterans Housing Assistance Program, adding the Veterans Home Improvement Program to provide below-market interest rate loans to qualified Texas veterans for home repairs and improvements to their existing homes.
4. State Veterans Homes
In 1997, Senator Jerry Patterson passed a law authorizing the Texas State Veterans Home program to provide long-term care services for Texas veterans. Since 2001, the VLB has built eight Texas State Veterans Homes, which offer long-term, skilled-nursing care for veterans. The homes are located in Amarillo, Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville, McAllen, Temple, and Tyler.
5. State Veterans Cemeteries
In 2006, to augment the federal veterans cemeteries and allow veterans to be buried closer to home and family, the VLB opened the state’s first Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen, followed by state veterans cemeteries in Mission, Abilene, and Corpus Christi.
6. Come see us!
The VLB conducts Texas veterans benefit fairs across the state to help veterans better understand their benefits.  Free and open to the public, the benefit fairs are co-sponsored by the Texas Veterans Commission.
7. Have a story to tell?
The VLB Voices of VeteransTM oral history program interviews Texas veterans from all eras and all conflicts to save their stories of dedication, courage and sacrifice for future generations. Please visit the Voices of Veterans website to listen to these stories or for more information.

Sources:

Texas Veteran’s Commission – http://www.tvc.state.tx.us/

Veteran’s Land Board – http://www.glo.texas.gov/vlb/

The Hill – http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/defense/231404-senate-to-pass-first-vets-bill-of-2015-honoring-texas-sniper-clay

Texas Wide Open for Veterans – https://www.texaswideopenforveterans.com/twc-wofv/

Texas Veterans Portal – http://veterans.portal.texas.gov/en/pages/default.aspx

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