Residents at the Texas State Veterans Homes Party on into the New Year

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 November and December.

Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home

On Wednesday, November 29, three Women Veterans at the Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo were recognized at the Legacy Women Veterans Recognition Luncheon by Anna Baker, the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Texas Veterans Commission.

Some of the Women Veterans who were honored at this special event included Louise Kelly who served as an Army nurse in World War II, Jean Hoopes who served in the Air Force after World War II, and Kathryn Commerford, a Gulf War Veteran who served in the Air Force.

Jean Hoopes lives at Ussery-Roan with her husband Delphan Hoopes, who is retired from the Air Force.

(L) Anna Baker speaks at the Legacy Women Veterans Recognition Luncheon
(L) Lousie Kelly & her family | (M) Delphan & Jean Hoopes & their daughter-in-law | (R) Kathryn Commerford with her brother

Early in December, the Vietnam Veteran residents placed a wreath at the Vietnam War Memorial Traveling Wall as it passed through Amarillo.

On Wednesday, December 13, Hunting with Soldiers, a non-profit group that provides free hunts for combat Veterans, arranged for Robert Gordon, a Vietnam Era Air Force Veteran, to shoot an M1 Grande and a 44 Magnum at Smith and Sons Armory in Amarillo. Patriot Guard Riders escorted Mr. Gordon blank to the shooting range.

On Tuesday, December 19, the residents at Ussery-Roan enjoyed the arrival of Santa who brought gifts for everyone at the Residents and Families Christmas Party. The residents with the Memory Support Unit were especially delighted by Kris Kringle’s special visit!

Follow the Ussery-Roan Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.


Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home

On Friday, November 3, the Women Veterans at the Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring were recognized for their service at the Legacy Women Veterans Recognition Luncheon by Anna Baker, the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Texas Veterans Commission.

(L) Kim Leann Lacroix | (M) Sandra K Wilson | (R) Anna Baker, TVC Women Veterans Program Manager

Follow the Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.


Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home

The Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham celebrated the U.S. Marine Corps birthday on Friday, November 10, with an informative presentation on the history of the Marine Corps by resident Ralph Drautz.

On Thursday, November 9, 2017, the Pottsboro High School FCCLA students delivered 160 handmade blankets to our residents. The residents were very happy to receive them. The Whitewright Ladies Club also hosted their annual Veterans Day party for the residents, who always look forward to the homemade desserts brought by the ladies.

(L) Pottsboro High School FCCLA | (R) Whitewright Ladies Club

On Saturday, November 11, the Clyde W. Cosper home hosted a Veterans Day ceremony that honored the residents and Veterans in the community. Gary Alexander, a Purple Heart recipient, was the guest speaker and music was provided by the Dodd City High School Band. The North Texas Patriot Guard Riders and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 23–1 also attended the event and luncheon.

In early December the residents enjoyed visits from the Bonham High School Choir and the L.H. Rather Junior High Band.

Bonham High School Choir
L.H. Rather Junior High Band

Also in early December, the American Legion Post 178 visited the home to deliver Christmas presents to the residents, and grill hot dogs for the residents and staff.

Many thanks go out to the Mary Shirley McGuire Chapter of the DAR and the General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter of the DAR for delivering Christmas gifts to the residents.

Mary Shirley McGuire Chapter of the DAR
General Bernardo de Galvez Chapter of the DAR

On Friday, December 22, Santa Claus visited the Texas State Veterans Home. As you can tell from the photos, the residents were very excited to see him!

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


Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home

Every month at the Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso, the Sgt. Majors Academy stops in to recognize one or two of our Veterans. It’s an amazing ceremony with many active duty military in attendance. They also receive a beautiful framed plaque from the academy honoring their service. This month Anthony Vellucci, a resident in the Memory Support Unit, was honored. Mr. Vellucci was attended by his wife.

“When staff asked if he would like to attend you could see the excitement in his eyes,” said Susan Culp, the VLB On-site Representative.

Mr. Vellucci was a Warrant Officer for the U.S. Army, he served in Korea, Kuwait and Iraq.

On Tuesday, November 7, soldiers from the Fort Bliss Chemical Battalion visited the home and had lunch with the residents.

Veterans Day Event

(L) Congressman William Hurd & VLB On-Site Representative Susan Culp | (R) Commissioner Andrew Haggerty; CSM Jeffrey Huggins; Damon Crossland, El Paso Arts Association; Chris Garcia, Department of Commerce
Damon Crossland and Lisa Robbins
(L) Commissioner Andrew Haggerty & N.E. Bears Cheerleading Squad

On Thursday December 7, the Texas Veterans Commission honored the seven Women Veterans currently living at the Ambrosio Guillen Veterans Home. Anna Baker, Manager of the Women Veterans Program at the Texas Veterans Commission, gave a speech and presented certificates to each Veteran.

Other special guests included Juan Carlos Mendoza, Military Veterans Peer Network Coordinator at the El Paso One Stop Veteran Center, Megan Tamez, El Paso Health Care Advocate for the Texas Veterans Commission, Kathy Johanns, Program Administrator for Texas State Veterans Homes, and Reverend Gary Carne.

A four-course meal was served by Chef Manny Rodriguez and the staff. The Veterans introduction and escort was provided by the U.S. Army 4th Battalion, 1st Field Artillery.

The Women Veterans who were honored were: Drue Alvarez, U.S. Air Force, Airman Second Class, Korea Era | Kathryn Jester, U.S. Army, SP 4 | Cecelia McKenzie, U.S. Army, Col, Vietnam | Marie Rodgers, U.S. Army, Col., Vietnam | Maria Sargent, U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt., Korea Era | Linda Vinson, U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt., Persian Gulf War | Sandra “Jo” Shuman, U.S. Army, SP5, Vietnam

TVC Women Veterans Program Manager, Anna Baker & Sandra Shuman
(L) Marie Rodgers | (R) Anna Baker & Linda Vinson

Follow the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.


Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home

Thank you to all the members of the Marine Corps League Alamo Detachment #315 who visited the Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville on Friday, November 10 to celebrate the U.S. Marines Birthday. Our Marines were honored with a formal cake cutting ceremony- complete with a sabre!

A big thank you to Kindred Hospice for providing a Veteran Pinning Ceremony in honor of our Veterans for Veterans Day. Each Veterans’ name and branch of service was read aloud and they were presented an award and a very nice Veteran pin.

Henrietta Turner, City Manager of Floresville, was the keynote speaker, Floresville Mayor, Cissy Gonzalez-Dipel, led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Cannon Araujo, Miss South Texas Outstanding Teen of 2018, sang the National Anthem and other songs. Soldiers from Fort Sam Houston also attended the event.

More events on Veterans Day included a show called “The Best of the Crop” with a fall harvest theme and fantastic entertainment by DJ Rueben. The Boy Scouts were in attendance and a magician performed a magic show. After his public show, the magician made individual room visits conjuring more magic tricks for those residents who were unable to attend the public performance.

A very special visitor, Col., U. S. Army (Ret) Jose Ramos, who now works for the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration Project, provided special commemorative pins to many of our Vietnam Veterans.

Families came to share a Thanksgiving meal with their loved ones at the Veterans Home on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday, December 5, Jeff, Carol, and Zoe Rutledge from JCZ Farm in Stockdale, stopped by to share their llamas with our residents. They are always so photogenic and make the residents so happy! Who doesn’t love llamas?

On Thursday, December 14, Santa came to Floresville to visit the residents and delivered presents to all. Thank you to our volunteers from VFW Posts 8555 and 7108, Floresville High School, Daughters of the American Revolution, Chiefs Group of Lackland, Pascal Bippert and Mr. and Mrs. Turner, for making our Veterans’ Christmas so special this year.

Follow the Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.


Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home

On Friday, November 10, residents of the Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen, and their families, enjoyed the 4th Annual Feast of Sharing courtesy of H-E-B.

Veterans Day at the Veterans Home was celebrated with the Edinburg Veterans Day parade followed by a BBQ luncheon sponsored by the McAllen Lions Club.

Earl Inkala World War II Veteran

On Monday, November 13, seven of our Veterans visited the Evangelina Garza Elementary School to participate in a special school assembly honoring Veterans.

On Saturday, November 18, the Alfredo Gonzalez Veterans Home hosted a Tribute to Veterans Event to honor our Veterans and their families. This was the second annual Tribute to Veterans sponsored by the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Texas RGV Chapter 23–15.

The tribute featured a special motorcycle ride from the Veterans War Memorial to the Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home, a special ceremony, and residents and guests were treated to a BBQ by the Q’in it Up Pit Master. Each of the resident Veterans received a commemorative t-shirt for the event.

Other special guests included McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, State Representative Sergio Munoz, assistants from the office of U.S. Congressman Vicente Gonzalez and members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Law Dogs Motorcycle Club, and several other military service-supporting organizations. The Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid was also available to provide a free legal clinic to Veterans.

On Tuesday, December 12, the Hope Strings Quartet, a group of home-schooled children from the McAllen area, performed for the residents and staff.

On Tuesday, December 12, the Women Veterans at the Veterans Home were recognized for their service at the Legacy Women Veterans Recognition Luncheon by Anna Baker, the Women Veterans Program Manager at the Texas Veterans Commission. Currently there are two World War II Women Veterans and four Vietnam War era Women Veterans residing at the home in McAllen.

Many thanks to KRGV for covering this story.

On Wednesday, December 13, the Roosevelt Elementary Choir performed Christmas carols for the residents.

On Friday, December 13, the residents and staff at the home were treated to a live performance by Vance Greek, a southern gospel recording artist.

Bishop Daniel Flores held Christmas Mass in the morning at our State Veterans Home on Thursday, December 21, followed by a luncheon for the residents and guests. Students from the Michael Fossum Middle School also attended.

Follow the Alfredo Gonazalez Texas State Veterans Home on Facebook.


William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home

On Saturday, November 11, the Texas State Veterans Home in Temple held their Annual Veterans Day Banquet.

Veterans wrap up a year of equine therapy.

Guam Dancers visited the Veterans Home in early December and had a blast dancing with some of the residents!

On Monday, December 4, Kathleen Brown, a music therapist, gets the residents engaged in music!

Annual Christmas Party

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


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.

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