Residents at the Texas State Veterans Homes Have Summer Fun

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 May and June.

Ussery Roan Texas State Veterans Home

On Wednesday, May 17, residents and staff from the Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo participated in the VA2K Walk and Roll to raise funds for the VA Homeless Veterans Program. They sold bratwurst to solicit donations and the staff purchased items from the VA wish list to assist homeless Veterans who are setting up residences. It was a beautiful day for Veterans to help other Veterans and a good time was had by all.

Photographs & newspaper articles pertaining to Charles Roan

On Monday, May 22, Helen Sargent Stokely, the only girlfriend of PFC. Charles Roan, came and visited the Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo. Ms. Stokely generously donated original photographs and newspaper articles from 1945 and 1946 regarding Charles Roan, including the launch of the USS Charles Roan. Ms. Stokely is currently 93 years young and lives in Maryland. The Veterans Home plans to frame and display these treasured items for everyone to enjoy.

Ms. Stokely and staff at Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home

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Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home

Veteran Resident Mr. Klauman

On Saturday, May 13, three Veteran residents from the Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring went on their first equine therapy trip to Horses, Hearts and Hands a horse ranch in Gardendale. The purpose of this trip was for them to meet the staff and the horses. The staff at the ranch held a welcome party and cookout for the Veterans as a way to thank them for their service. These animals provide comfort and love to the the Veterans who visit them. These particular Veterans really enjoyed the trip and can’t wait to go back!

(L-R) Veterans Mr. Klauman, Mr. Oakley & Mr. Pittman

On Wednesday, May 17, the staff and residents of the Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Veterans Home participated in the 7th Annual VA2K Walk & Roll. The event was held in conjunction with National Employee Health Day at the Big Spring VA Medical Clinic.

Clockwise from top left: Department Heads & Residents | Jennifer Villaplando (HR Director) & Mr. Hawk | Sandy Sandlin (Administrator) & Mr. Pittman | Kellie Tubb (Business Office Manager) & Mr. McGlaun | Emily Carrillo (Medical Records) & Mr. McKibben
Elks Lodge #1480 Members and Lisa Vera, center, Activity Director for the home in Big Spring
(L-R) Elks Lodge President, Jack Kimbler, Resident, Jimmy Bex, & Tractor Supply employees presenting the Gas Grill & Smoker

On June 17, members of Elks Lodge #1480, from Breckenridge, donated a gas grill and smoker, 20 Apple iPods, 48 Reacher/Grabbers, and a Wii Console with Wii Games to the Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring.

The staff and residents of the Veterans home are so grateful to Elks Lodge #1480 and the Tractor Supply Company for their kindness and generosity. All of these items will enhance the lives of our residents.

In June, many of the residents planted a vegetable garden including tomatoes, jalapenos and cucumbers. They find a lot of satisfaction in growing and eating their own produce — gardening is good for the body and the soul!

Clockwise from top left: Jalepenos | Residents James Klauman, Billy Kirk, & Velma Stephens planting seeds | Tomatoes | Resident Sherman Powers

Residents of the Memory Support Unit were found baking muffins.

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Clockwise from top left: Residents Velma Stephens | Jimmy Bex | James Klauman | Dewey Sigmon | Billy Kirk

Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home

In May, members of the Rowlett Chapter of the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club delivered socks and caps to the residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham.

The Blue Knights are a motorcycle group consisting of active and retired members of law enforcement and they are strong supporters of Veterans in their community.

Later in May, the residents traveled to Paris, Texas to visit the Red River Valley Veterans Memorial. While they were there they also attended a Frisco Rough Riders baseball game and visited the Bonham VFW Post 4852 for a day of fishing.

Follow the Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.

Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home

In June, folks from the Cowboy Trading Post brought horses, a lamb, a goat and a donkey to visit our Veteran residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso. They held an educational and fun presentation on the care of horses and their equipment, and the residents had a blast interacting with the animals. The ranch staff also brought homemade pie and fresh punch.

“It was amazing to hear the Veterans call out the answers and recall times in their lives that they interacted with horses,” said Susan Culp, On-Site Representative at the home. “I think the ranch staff enjoyed the visit as much as we did!”

Many of the Veterans home staff participated as well, including the therapy department. The whole event was such a success that they came back in July and brought a buggy to give residents rides around the facility.

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Group Photo: (L-R) Residents John Harvell, Mario Ornelas, John Swind, Jennie Stengal, Elwood Payne, Edward Jacobson, Ramon Vasquez | Stanley Brown ready for his ride.
(L-R) Resident Arnulfo Escarciga and Julian the Alpaca | Resident John Harvell | Resident Kathryn Jester who raised horses herself
Veteran resident Jose Duran

Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home

In early May the Wilson County Car Club made a pit-stop to share their marvelous vintage cars with the Veteran residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville.

“Seeing these cars always brings back so many memories of the cars they used to own,” said Nanci Struble, On-Site Representative at the Frank Tejeda Veterans Home. “It’s so much fun hearing about what their favorite car was, or what kind they or their family owned.”

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Alfredo Gonazalez Texas State Veterans Home

On Tuesday, May 16, residents of the Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen enjoyed a sunny day on South Padre Island Tuesday. Special thanks to our Activities Department and the nurses and to HEB (the Freddy Gonzalez Store in Edinburg) for providing the picnic food and supplies for this outing.

Zoila trying out her new all-terrain walker

Many thanks to Marlene and her Activities Department staff and the great folks at the Enlightened Barber Academy for offering to spruce up our Veterans for Father’s Day. On Tuesday, June 13, a busload of residents went to the academy for haircuts and on Wednesday, June 14, a busload of cosmetology students came to the Alfredo Gonzalez Veterans Home and provided 70 more free haircuts to the residents.

UTRGV Music Department Faculty & Staff

On Monday, June 19, our residents enjoyed a performance by members of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Music Department.

“This is the second time the UT faculty and students have performed here and their music is very much appreciated not just by the residents, but our staff as well,” said Jose Bustamante, On-Site Representative at the Alfredo Gonzalez Veterans Home.

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William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home

In May, during Volunteer Appreciation Week, the Texas State Veterans Home in Temple presented the Austin Dog Alliance with a certificate of appreciation from Mike Atkinson, the resident council president. The Austin Dog Alliance makes regular visits to the Veterans Home in Temple. A big thank you goes out to KCEN-TV for covering the story.

The residents at the William R. Courtney Veterans Home enjoy many regular activities including daily exercise and cooking classes.

Memory Support Unit residents enjoy daily exercise outside in the garden.
Cooking Class
Heights Baptist Church Choir

In celebration of Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Mother’s Day, the choir from Heights Baptist Church came to the Veterans home to sing for the women residents. Tea and strawberry cakes were served.

On Tuesday, May 16, the residents had a blast at Casino Night. Texas Casino Nights provided the tables and dealers, and Quentin Locklin sang Frank Sinatra tunes. This is one of the many activities provided by the Veterans Home that reminds many of the residents of good times in the past, but also is something to look forward to in the future.

May 14 through May 20 was National Nursing Home Week, and to show their appreciation for everything the staff does to take care of them, the residents at the home banded together and made banners and paraded through the halls cheering them on. Everyone had such a fun time!

Every May all the skilled-nursing homes in the Temple area get together for a day of games and sports. This year the residents competed in events including dominoes, bowling, basketball and target practice. They had grilled steaks for lunch and ribbons were given out to all the competitors. It’s safe to say that our Veteran residents had the edge!

Father’s Day was celebrated with a cookout compliments of the Horny Toad Harley-Davidson H.O.G. Chapter.

Later in June the residents went on a field trip to the Waco Mammoth National Monument, which included a guided tour and a picnic.

Follow the William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.

Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home

The female residents of the Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler were treated to a special outing on Friday, May 12th. In honor of Mother’s Day and Military Spouse’s Day, the ladies enjoyed a day at the Hidden Gardens Nursery and Tea House in Bullard, Texas. They enjoyed exploring the greenhouses and the aroma of the flowers, as well as the relaxing waterfalls. To make the day even more memorable, lunch was served on fine crystal fancy tea glasses. Everyone enjoyed this special day.

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 Follow the Texas Veterans Land Board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Read more blogs at and listen to The Dog Tag at