The month of November is a time to recognize the sacrifice of the men and women that served in the armed forces. U.S. veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and it is important to honor them for their service. In Texas, we have several of programs that seek to help and assist our current and former members of the military. These programs are spread across different state agencies that work to implement and administer them.

According to a Texas state summary conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, our state is home to around 1.6 million veterans. Many have chosen to stay in Texas or move to Texas from somewhere else due to the great programs that are in place to help assist our service members. Texas has several of resources that are managed by a wide range of state agencies, but the two primary agencies are the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) and the Veterans Land Board (VLB).

The Texas Veterans Commission was established in 1927 and was originally designated as the State Service Office. It was tasked with assisting those veterans of the Indian wars, Spanish-American War, and World War I. The intention of creating this agency was to act as the state appointed advocate of the veterans in Texas. Today, the TVC works to try and help both current and former members of our military to secure the benefits they have earned through their service. According to the Texas Veterans Commission’s website, there are four program areas in which they can be of assistance:

• Claims: this department 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).

• Employment: this department 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.

• Education: this department 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 following federal guidelines and are qualified to provide the type of training offered.

• Grants & Funding: The Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA) grant program awards reimbursement grants to eligible charitable organizations, local government agencies, and Veterans Service Organizations that provide direct services to Texas Veterans and their families.

In addition to the TVC, the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) helps our military men and women after they return from service. The VLB was created in 1946 with the mission of administering benefits that were exclusively for our Texas veterans. Some of the programs at the VLB help our service members with obtaining low interest loans on land, homes, home improvements as well as home programs to help provide long-term care services for our Texas veterans. If you would like to learn more about these programs, please visit the Texas Veterans Land Board.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.