Veterans group expresses disappointment
The Department of Texas, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, the oldest and largest veteran’s organization in the state and their 82,000 members has expressed their disappointment with the Texas Veterans Commission. On May 18, 2011, Commissioners decided not to fund the only grant program that assists veterans statewide.
In March of 2010, the Texas VFW Foundation, the charitable arm of the Texas VFW, received a $1 million grant from the Texas Veterans Commission Fund for Veterans Assistance to be used for emergency financial needs of veterans and their families. The funds were made available by the state of the “Veterans Cash” lottery ticket. These funds were expended and the Texas VFW Foundation requested an additional grant to continue the program.
The State Commander of the Texas VFW, Wayne DePute said that he disagreed with the decision of the Texas Veterans Commission and expressed his concern that “the real losers are the Texas veterans and their families.” Currently there are only a few organizations that have been funded for this type of assistance. They are located in the San Antonio, Tarrant County and the Panhandle area. Veterans living outside of those areas are not eligible to receive any type of emergency financial assistance from the Fund for Veterans Assistance.
Commander DePute said “It is blatantly unfair that a veteran in one area of this state does not have the same opportunity to request assistance as a veteran located in another area”.
He went on to say that “Considering the way this current round of grants was awarded, I am concerned that the staff of the Texas Veterans Commission has ignored the needs of the veterans in this state, those same veterans they are charged with assisting”.
The Texas VFW Foundation has awarded over $2.3 million in grants statewide. “As a result of this denial and minimal donations from the public sector, the Texas VFW Foundation will now have to scale down programs assisting Texas veterans and their families” said DePute.
Roy Grona, Texas VFW State Adjutant/Quartermaster