Help with eyesight & seeing a brighter future

Army veteran Howard McMillan’s eyesight problem made him unable to pursue his career as a welder as he could not pass the necessary eye exam. Unable to secure employment, he was living in a shelter in the Fort Worth area. “I didn’t know how I was going to make it,” said McMillian. He had the contact information of Texas Veterans Commission’s (TVC) Justice Involved Veterans Coordinator Erin McGann and gave her a call.
McGann introduced McMillian to his area Military …

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Her dream is on her career path with help from Veteran Career Advisor

After Gulf War Army veteran Lenora Holmes’ new job fell through, she found herself unemployed and depleting her savings. In her previous job as a VA social worker in North Texas, she had directed veterans to the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) for employment assistance. Holmes decided to do so herself. She met with TVC Veteran Career Advisor (VCA) Bobby Lee officed in McKinney.
“In true Bobby Lee fashion, he offered her some snacks, a box of tissue, and assisted in …

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At 2,700 successful claims & counting, Veteran County Service Officer Rios is benefits savvy

“Every time that we are able to get someone their benefits, we consider that a success,” said Juan M. Rios, Sr., Tarrant County Assistant Veteran Service Officer.
Having completed nearly 2,700 claims for veterans disability, non-service-connected pension, and survivors benefits, Rios creates much success.
Rios’s advice to his fellow veterans is “Do not hesitate to ask. Most are too proud to ask for help but if you do not ask you will never know if you are eligible for the …

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From homeless veteran to veteran Health Care Advocate

Freddy Salazar served in the Marine Corps from 2005-2009. After he left the service, he was married and had two daughters. “Due to some mental health conditions and drug and alcohol use, I lost it all,” said Salazar. In 2012, he separated from his wife and was homeless.
“I was on the streets with 3 shirts, pants and shoes. I was in a shelter home for over 3 weeks while working for the Army National Guard Bureau. At that time …

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Veteran owned North Texas Voice & Speech among select few of Bunker Labs incubator

Army veteran and Speech Therapist Leslie Wegner owns North Texas Voice & Speech, a specialized speech therapy practice helping adults and children with voice, swallowing, and speech related problems. She works with a variety of clients, including veterans, who have vocal fold problems, aging voice concerns, difficulty swallowing, and now those who are recovering from Covid-19 complications. Additionally, Wegner provides voice treatments for patients with Parkinson Disease.
After starting her own company in 2020, Wegner noted that one of the …

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Watch formerly homeless veteran story; Houston Area Urban League, Texas Veterans Commission partner to reach veterans

Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Vice-Chair Kevin Barber was the opening speaker for the Houston Area Urban League veteran outreach event “Operation Empowerment.”
Barber, an Army veteran, provided on overview of TVC services to veterans attending the virtual event, held December 8, 2020. Additionally, he commended the Houston Area Urban League for its overall community involvement and specifically for its Housing Support Program for veterans and for surviving spouses.
“This year, the Houston Area Urban League was awarded a $300,000 Fund …

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Bexar County Veterans Treatment Court lauded by Chairwoman Koerner

Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Chairwoman and Navy veteran Laura Koerner spoke at the Bexar County Veterans Treatment Court Graduation virtual event on December 14, 2020.
“This past year has been especially challenging. I thank you all for keeping veterans treatment court working through the pandemic and within health precautions,” said Koerner. “COVID has caused the court to change from in-person counseling and functions. The pandemic may add more mental stress to an already rigorous program. I applaud you all, the …

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Overcoming injuries & obstacles to employment

Veteran Johnathan Igou served just over 4 years in the Air Force. During that time, he was injured during a combat tour in Afghanistan, sustaining injuries from an I.E.D. (Improvised Explosive Device), and a Tracer Round. Igou, pictured below, was medically boarded and while in the VA hospital was referred to the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. In 2016, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of North Texas(UNT) in Denton.

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Taking care of retiring military transitioning to veterans

Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) Senior Claims Benefits Advisor (CBA) Kathleen  Pino serves as the primary liaison for transitioning service members seeking to complete Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) claims for several military bases, as well as VBA claims support and referral for area veterans and their families. An Air Force veteran herself, she actively engages the active duty and veteran community by representing the TVC at pre-retirement briefs and ensuring continuing benefits awareness from active duty service to civilian life.
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Increasing Claims payments & creating veteran events earns VSO Tami King Excellence Award

After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Tami King began working for her fellow veterans as Gillespie County Veterans Service Officer (VSO) in March 2007. Since then, Disability Compensation and Pension awards to Gillespie County veterans have increased by over $7.2 million, from $ 4,436,000 in 2007 to $ 11,645,000 as of September 2019. Accredited by the Texas Veterans Commission, King coordinates outreach events and participates in her community, visiting civic organizations and assisted living facilities, to connect with veterans and …

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