Texas is giving back to its veterans with over one million dollars in grants. On Wednesday, six of the state’s veteran organizations received charitable funds from the Texas Veterans Commission’s Fund for Veteran’s Assistance. East Texas is home to nearly 100,000 military veterans. Added to the number of active duty and reserve service members, the national heroes make up roughly 20 percent of the region’s population. Since 2019, the commission has awarded over $160 million to veterans organizations across the Lone Star State.
CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Smith County Jack Wilson received the check from the grant. Excited to give back to some of the state’s most valued citizens, Wilson stated that the funds would help change lives. Now, with the newly awarded money, Habitat for Humanity and associated organizations can help improve the quality of life for Texas veterans. Wilson stated that among the efforts, two of the most important objectives is to secure transportation services and home modifications.
“Since we got our first grant in 2014, we have spent over $1.2 million dollars that we have received so we can help our over 200 veterans do critical repairs for their homes,” Wilson shared with KETK News.
Among the panel for the Texas Veterans Commission was Kimberlee Shaneyfelt, who proudly presented the six organizations with their new funding.
“Every year we have a grant cycle which awards grants to these various agencies across the state of Texas. In 2021, we gave out over $33 million in grants,” Shaneyfelt reported.
Community Services of Northeast Texas, Inc. received the most money, $300,000. Almost all of the six veterans-centered organizations saw more than $100,000.
Texas Veterans Come Together to Discuss Better Way to Support Community
There’s no brotherhood or sisterhood quite like that between fellow veterans. So, when they sense that their community is in need of support, they are quick to lend a hand wherever needed. This is especially true for the leaders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Back in July, Post commander Scott Galliardt, Quartermaster Robert Worrall, U.S. Army veteran Kyle Sinclair and Lt. Colonel Ivan Edwards sat down together at the Dodging Duck restaurant in Texas. Of course, service dog, Nixon, joined the conversation, too, from underneath the table.
Together, the team of veterans discussed how to better aid and engage with fellow service members that come through the hospital system. While all of the men consider themselves veterans first, they also all have extensive medical experience. Sinclair is the CEO of Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital, and Lt. Colonel Edwards is the Medical Director of Military Affairs.
“Serving veterans is a way of showing appreciation for the role they play in serving our country. It is giving back to society,” said Lt. Colonel Edwards.
Sinclair was just as passionate. He shared that “recognizing veterans during their time of need and healing process is such an honor and continues to allow veteran volunteers to feel value and camaraderie with their brothers and sisters in arms.”