“We pride ourselves in getting our veterans the compensation that they deserve, but it is a nice feeling when we overcome a previous denial, or we are able to get DIC (Dependency and Indemnity Compensation) approval for a widow whose spouse never filed a claim through the VA,” said Ruben Gonzalez, Chief, Medina County Veteran Services. “The highest backpay we have gotten on a claim has been $360K. Our team, Brian, Garry and I, are standing by to assist our county veterans and families.”
“Ruben does an excellent job with veterans/dependents. He is on Veterans County Service Officer Advisory Committee to the Texas Veterans Commission and is very active in trying to help the system work better in all aspects,” said Laura Bivens, Texas Veterans Commission VCSO Liaison and Army veteran. “He sends me information and updates as he receives them and tries to find solutions to making things easier.”
Gonzalez, an Air Force veteran who served 30 years, said it’s important for those filing Claims to understand the time and wait that may be involved. “It is so important for veterans and families to understand that the VA is a huge organization with numerous programs and personnel. It is important to have patience, be systematic and organized when dealing with them.”
Gonzalez and his team, Medina County Veteran Service Officers Brian Schaefer and Garry Murphy, both Air Force veterans, serve their community from three locations. “We operate out of three offices as a way to be closer to the veterans and families around the county. Our three offices are at Castroville, Devine and Hondo Texas.”
Having three offices, Gonzalez said the best way to contact them is by phone at 830-355-2711.
Most of the assistance his team provides is for Claims, “but we do a little of everything depending on the request for assistance.”
Pictured is the Medina County Veteran Service Office team. From left are Ruben Gonzalez, Chief, Medina County Veteran Services; and Veteran Service Officers Brian Schaefer and Garry Murphy.