Texas State Veterans Homes Celebrate the Holidays

Texas VLB
Texas VLB
Jan 4 · 13 min read

The has eight across the state. These homes provide affordable, long-term skilled nursing care for Texas Veterans, their spouses and Gold Star Parents. The staff and volunteers at our homes work incredibly hard to provide the residents with special activities and celebrations to show them all how much they are loved.

We are so grateful to all the community members who take the time to stop in and visit with our Veterans and other residents, especially around the holidays. Many different groups of people brought our residents special gifts, performed holiday music, baked cookies and just visited with them. The most important gift that anyone can give our residents is their time and companionship.

Here are some of the events and visitors we had this past November and December.

Ussery Roan State Veterans Home

Residents from the attended the unveiling of the West Texas A&M University Veteran Memorial in Canyon on Friday November 9. The University provided hot dogs and apple pie for lunch. This was the kickoff of the weekend celebration for .

West Texas A&M University Veteran Memorial

Every 3rd and 4th Thursday of the month, residents from the VA Community Living Center come over to Ussery Roan to collaborate with some of our residents in a woodworking workshop. The Veterans have built and stained a woodworking table. In December the residents will all sign and seal the table.

The Christmas Party on Tuesday, December 18, included delicious hors d’oeuvres and other treats, and a musical performance by singers from West Texas A&M University. Many thanks to our community partners, and , for bringing gifts for each of our residents. Our deepest gratitude goes to Mitchell Miller with the for delivering four new recliners, and to for providing two new birdbaths for the garden. No Christmas Party is complete without a visit from Santa Claus!

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Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home

The was honored to have Marine Veteran, Justin Eaton, as our guest speaker at the Marine Corps Birthday Party on Saturday, November 10.

Justin Eaton & Veteran Residents

On Friday, December 7, delivered Christmas presents for the residents. While they were here visiting, the members of the post also treated the residents and staff to a hamburger and hot dog cookout.

Members of the American Legion Peter J. Courcy Post 178

On Saturday, December 8, the American Legion Post 178 Ladies Auxiliary visited the Veterans Home to deliver Christmas presents to the female residents.

American Legion Post 178 Ladies Auxiliary

On Monday, December 10, parishioners from visited the Veterans Home to deliver Christmas gifts for the residents. St. Jude Catholic Church has donated Christmas gifts to the residents for many years and we are so grateful for their generosity!

Visitors from St. Jude Catholic Church

The visited the Veterans Home on Tuesday, December 11, and sang Christmas carols for the residents. Thank you for bringing our residents this extra holiday cheer!

Bonham High School Choir

Many, many thanks to the for visiting the Veterans Home and helping the residents make Christmas wreaths.

Students that participated in this service project were: Reagan Gibbs, Alexis Burkard, Jacey Daniels, Madison Corley, Dixie Binford, Siarra Roberts, Faith Jones, Andy Gibbs, Bobby Logan, Kyle Stockton and Colton Burkard.

Sam Rayburn FFA & Veterans Home Residents

The visited the Veterans Home on Wednesday, December 12, to play Christmas songs for the residents. What a treat!

LH Rather Junior High School

On Friday, December 14, delivered Christmas presents to the residents. During their visit, they also passed out scarves to the residents and visited with them.

On Saturday, December 15, the visited the Veterans Home to deliver homemade Christmas stockings to the residents. What beautiful stockings!

The residents enjoyed decorating gingerbread cookies and caroling through the halls of the Veterans Home.

Many thanks to the for delivering Christmas cookies to our residents.

The and the IW Evans Choir visited the Veterans Home to sing Christmas carols to the residents. Thank you for making this holiday season so joyful for our Veterans and their families!

(L-R) Central Baptist Church of McKinney | IW Evans Choir

Employees of CarMart and Associa Client Shared Services Center, Inc. delivered Christmas gifts for our residents on Thursday, December 20.

The Mary Shirley McGuire Chapter of the DAR also visited the Veterans Home to deliver Christmas gifts to the residents.

Thanks to the Student Council and Fishing Club for stopping by the Veterans Home to visit with the residents.

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Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home

In early November, the held the Wonderful You Art Exhibit at their Crossland Gallery to showcase art that was donated by local artists to be displayed at the . Some of our Veteran residents were able to attend the gallery opening and it was such a treat to see their faces light up as they viewed the artist’s work. This is the beginning of a new partnership that the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home has with the EPAA which includes monthly visits between the two organizations.

Many thanks to Darrell and Carol McGahhey for their dedication to the Art for Veterans Program and for bringing joy to the many Veterans at the Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home.

On Thursday, December 20, the El Paso Arts Association attended an event at the Veterans Home so we could honor all that they have done for us. Thanks to them our building is filled with artwork from local artists!

(L-R) Edward Granado | Carol McGahhey, George Hillburn & Darrell McGahhey| Michael Smith

Many thanks to the Horizon City ROTC for visiting our residents on Tuesday, November 20.

Horizon City ROTC & Veterans Wendell Ake & William Adams

Residents Billy and Alice Bridges celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary!

So grateful to the kindergartners who sang Christmas carols to our residents. The performance was so cute and the residents really enjoyed it!

Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Morris celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary!

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Gamwell celebrated their 7th wedding anniversary!

The Veterans received a visit from Santa Claus and the famous Matachines Dancers!

Matachines Dancers & Santa Claus

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Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home

A big “thank you!” to the Jr ROTC Cadet Chorale for getting all of us into the Christmas spirit on Friday, November 30. The cheerleaders and mascot joined in the fun. They performed a variety of Christmas songs and then visited with our residents after their performance. Thanks Tigers!

Floresville High School JROTC Cadet Chorale, Cheerleaders, Mascot & Veteran Residents

Our deepest gratitude to VFW Post 8555 for providing our Pearl Harbor Remembrance on Friday, December 7. The ceremony included a reading of the history of Pearl Harbor, a prayer, and the pledge of allegiance. All the guests and residents watched a special video tribute from George P. Bush, Texas Land Commissioner and VLB chairman.

(L-R) Members of VFW Post 8555 & WWII Veterans | VFW Quartermaster Ray Silva | Post 8555 Auxiliary sharing their picture board

Everyone had a great time celebrating at our Christmas party! We had Santa, his elves, Christmas music and a LOT of gifts. Thank you to Ray Silva for filling in for Santa. We also very much appreciate our other volunteers from and the !

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Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home

The residents, their families and employees enjoyed the annual HEB “Feast of Sharing” meal and the annual Thanksgiving luncheon in November at the .

WWII Army Veteran Janice Bradley enjoyed a surprise 99th birthday party on Monday, December 3, at the Veterans Home. Special thanks to Jose Narvaez of the for the birthday cake and gifts, and to the for more gifts and their continuous support. Happy Birthday Janice!!

On Wednesday, December 5, residents of the Veterans Home welcomed a visit from Kaya, a therapy dog who will be visiting them every week this winter. Special thanks to Kaya’s owner, Johanna D’Aleo from New York, for sharing this sweet puppy with our Veterans!

Johanna D’Aleo & Kaya

Our deepest gratitude to Mrs. Maryln Olivares, a Gold Star Mother, for showing our residents how to make homemade Christmas cookies using her own family recipe. Mrs. Olivares will be coming once a month to host a professional cooking social!

Mrs. Olivares & residents making cookies

Everyone had a great time at the annual Christmas Party. Special thanks to American Legion Post 37 who provided gifts and snacks to each of the residents. Residents and their guests were also served tamales –thank you Santa!

On Friday, December 21, James Niedzielski, the commander of in Donna, Texas, visited with several Veterans and delivered holiday cards from Weslaco Special Ed students. While he was here Mr. Niedzielski reunited with his old friend, and past VFW Commander, Joe Rangel.

Joe Rangel & James Niedzielski

We ended the year on a high note with a fabulous New Year’s Eve party!

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William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home

Painting class was held for anyone who wanted to join at the on Sunday, November 4. We have some very talented residents!

Our annual Christmas party was held on Sunday, December 16, and everyone had a wonderful time, even the Grinch!

A huge thank you goes out to the Special Forces Association Chapter 93 in Waco for donating $500.00 to the residents at the Veterans Home.

The “In Country Motorcycle Club” visits our Veterans on a regular basis. This time they provided a Christmas party for them and gave them all T-shirts!

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Because the VA subsidizes much of a Veteran’s cost to stay at a , 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 , , , and . Read more blogs at and listen to The Dog Tag at .

Texas Veterans Blog

A blog for the Texas Veterans Land Board that provides in-depth information on benefits, programs and resources for Veterans, military members and their families in Texas.

Texas VLB

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Texas VLB

Official Account for the Texas Veterans Land Board | Land, Home, and Home Improvement Loans, Texas State Veterans Homes and Cemeteries

Texas Veterans Blog

A blog for the Texas Veterans Land Board that provides in-depth information on benefits, programs and resources for Veterans, military members and their families in Texas.