The Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) has eight Texas State Veterans Homes across the state. These homes provide affordable, long-term skilled nursing care for Texas Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents. They are designed to enhance quality of life with a caring and dignified setting appropriate to those men and women who have served our country with honor.
The staff at our homes work incredibly hard to provide the residents with special activities and celebrations to show them all how much they are loved. Here are a just a few of the events that have taken place this past September and October.
Ussery Roan Texas State Veterans Home
Monday, September 18, was a busy day for residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo. Several residents attended and ate healthily at the Tri-State Fair. The residents celebrated the Air Force’s 70th Birthday with a ceremony including a flyover and a birthday cake. The Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home had an exhibit table on Senior Day at the Tri State Fair.
On Friday, October 13, the residents celebrated the U.S. Navy’s Birthday with a celebration including a guest speaker, retired Navy Officer Don Spence, and cake. The residents who are Navy Veterans were individually recognized at the birthday celebration.
On Saturday, October 14, the Amarillo Antique Automobile Club brought out several cars for the residents. The residents voted the 1969 Camaro as Best in Show and the 1949 Wiley as Second Best in Show.
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Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home
On Saturday, September 16, some therapy dogs brought love and joy to the residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring.
On Tuesday, September 19, some of the residents visited Horse, Hearts and Hands for some equine therapy.
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Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home
On Saturday, September 9, 2017, The Warrior’s Keep visited the Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham and treated the residents to a Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner and homemade cookies.
On Friday, September 15, VFW Post 2772 hosted a POW/MIA ceremony at the Veterans Home.
On Friday, October 20, the residents visited the State Fair of Texas. They were very excited about sampling the fair food and seeing the Texas Auto Show. They all had a great time!
On Saturday, October 21, the residents attended the Bonham Festival of Flight Airshow. This is always one of the favorite events of the year!
On Sunday, October 29, fourteen-year old Moses Snow visited the residents and sang several Elvis songs. As you can tell from the photos he was a big hit!
On Thursday, October 26, the Texas Veterans Commission and the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home honored their five female Veteran residents with a Legacy Women Veterans Recognition program and luncheon. It was such a special day for these ladies!
Happy Halloween from the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home! On Monday, October 30, the Ector Beta Club visited with the residents and passed out Halloween candy. On Tuesday, October 31, Footsteps and Fingerprints Daycare stopped by to wish the residents a Happy Halloween.
The staff at the Veterans Home really got into it this year. They even hosted an episode of the Price is Right for the residents.
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Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home
The Veteran residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso handed out candy to visiting children.
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Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home
On Friday, September 15, residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville enjoyed miniature horse and buggy rides. The weather was perfect and the Veterans found it very enjoyable and relaxing.
Friday, October 13, was the U.S. Navy’s Birthday. Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Captain James Jack Chapter in New Braunfels, brought two birthday cakes and recognized each Veteran who served in the Navy. The Navy service song was played followed by a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday to the Navy!
On Wednesday, October 18, the Texas Veteran Commission (TVC), in collaboration with team members at Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home had a wonderful recognition ceremony honoring all of our women Veterans.
Thomas Palladino, TVC Executive Director and Anna Baker, TVC Women Veteran Program Manager were on hand to present each of the women with military coins, a framed certificate, and a coffee mug filled with flowers.
“It was so heartwarming to see their responses during the program while their biographies were read as well as when the guest speaker addressed them,” remembers Nanci Struble, the VLB On-Site Representative at the Veterans Home. “Their expressions were priceless, when all women were presented with these special gifts.”
Also in attendance were several other members of the Texas Veterans Commission, the Wilson County Veteran Service Officer, H.R. Grimm, Texas Veterans Land Board staff, and several family members. All of the women Veterans received a standing ovation at the commencement of the program, followed by a very nice luncheon.
The staff, along with friends and family, helped the residents celebrate Halloween.
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Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home
Every Halloween the Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen hosts a costume contest for the residents. No surprise that last-minute reprieve Guillermo won 1st place. 2nd place went to vending machine hybrid Barbara. Supersize popcorn with extra butter Ramiro won 3rd prize and Best in Show went to easy-rider David.
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William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home
On Friday, September 1, residents and staff from the Texas State Veterans Home in Temple gathered two truck loads of items for Hurricane Harvey relief. These residents and their team members then delivered them to the Killeen Special Event Center. The Resident Council also donated an additional $1000 out of their own funds to the relief effort. We are so proud of our Veterans for stepping in to serve those in need.
Every year the William R. Courtney Veterans Home hosts a special ceremony in remembrance of 9/11. This year the entire Temple Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors attended, as well as the guest speaker, Rod Henry. Special guests included first responders from the Temple Fire and Police Departments. Veteran resident Cecil Kennedy led the opening prayer.
Thursday, September 14, was a special day full of crafts, canines and culinary arts. The Austin Dog Alliance brought Chaucer, a very snuggly King Charles Cavalier, for the residents to enjoy.
Also on September 14, residents of the Memory Support Unit (MSU) participated in a guided mediation from the staff at Nirvana Gym.
“We’re always looking to give back to the community and one of my personal goals is to help Veterans,” said Amol Gharte from Nirvana Gym. “At Nirvana GYM we offer services like nutrition guidance, fitness and personal training, yoga, and meditation classes. Meditation, specifically, is the service that I wanted to offer for free as our Thank You to the Veterans.”
Meditation can help alleviate depression, remove mental blockades, create self-awareness, and increase gray-matter in the brain for better cognitive functioning. More specifically for Veterans, or people with Post Traumatic Stress, it can help improve sleep, reduce anxiety and fear, and calm the mind.
“This was so amazing to see. The residents were calm and participated-even those that refused to come out of their rooms,” said Sue Nelson, VLB On-Site Representative at the Veterans Home in Temple.
On Tuesday, September 19, several residents enjoyed the 33rd Military Appreciation Banquet, hosted by the Temple Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided a large bus for the Veterans to be transported in, which was lead by the Temple Police and Fire Department as well as the Patriot Guard Motorcycle Group. Jefferson Elementary and Lamar Middle School staff and students waved as the bus drove by. Read more about this event on tdtnews.com.
Another busy day was Sunday, September 24, otherwise know as Gold Star Mother’s Day. Many of the residents enjoyed attending the Roller Derby and doing art therapy. And we found out that Eddie Ruiz-Velez sure knows how to play the bongos!
On Wednesday, October 11, a new dining room sign was installed to honor the Veteran residents. The sign was designed by Sue Nelson, the VLB On-Site Representative at the Veterans Home in Temple, and purchased by the VLB.
Halloween is taken very seriously by the staff and residents at the William R. Courtney Veterans Home. These folks do not mess around!
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Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home
On Friday, September 22, 2017, The residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler attended their First Annual MSU Military Ball — The Veterans and families enjoyed the event and are already looking forward to the next one.
“Honoring these Veterans and their families is always an honor!” said Donna Huffman, VLB On-Site Representative for the Veterans Home in Tyler.
On Saturday, October 7, the local Combat Veterans Association provided a BBQ for our Veteran residents. Their mission is “Vets Helping Vets.” They certainly helped our Vets have a great day!
On Tuesday, October 10, a game of volleyball broke out in one of the houses.
“With all the smiles, I couldn’t figure out who was winning!” said Donna Huffman.
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Because the VA subsidizes much of a Veteran’s cost to stay at a VLB Texas State Veterans Home, daily out-of-pocket rates are well below average and include the cost of medications for Veterans. Residents can choose between a spacious private or semi-private room based upon availability. Alzheimer’s units at each home provide highly specialized care, including beautifully landscaped, secure courtyards. Like all VLB programs, the Texas State Veterans Homes are self-supporting and cost Texas taxpayers virtually nothing.
For additional information on VLB Texas State Veterans Homes and Cemeteries, and land, home and home improvement loans, call 1–800–252-VETS (8387), or visit TexasVeterans.com. Follow the Texas Veterans Land Board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Read more blogs at TexasVeteransBlog.com and listen to The Dog Tag at TexasVeteransPodcast.com.