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Veterans Information Center



Trinity County Veterans Service Officer
Eugene Prater
Eugene Prater

For assistance to Trinity County veterans and "families of veterans" concerning veteran's benefits - Get your forms and questions answered here!


Groveton Courthouse Monday and Tuesday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 936-642-2309
Trinity Sub-Courthouse Wed - Thurs - Friday 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM 936-594-8067


* New Medallion Benefit as of Jun 29, 2010 *



The Department of Veterans Affairs is making available a new medallion to be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased's status as a veteran.

If requested, the medallion will be furnished in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or marker for veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990, and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

The medallion is currently available in three sizes, 5 inches, 3 inches, and 1 ½ inches. Each medallion will be inscribed with the word VETERAN across the top and the Branch of Service at the bottom. Appropriate affixing adhesive, instructions and hardware will be provided with the medallion.

Important: This benefit is only applicable if the grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. In these instances, eligible veterans are entitled to either a traditional Government-furnished headstone or marker, or the new medallion, but not both.

Click here to download VA form and for details and procedures for ordering the medallion.

Also, go to for further details.








VA Medical Addresses and Phone Numbers

South Texas Veterans
Health Care System
Audie L. Murphy Memorial
Veterans Hospital

7400 Merton Minter Blvd.
San Antonio, TX 78284
210/ 617-5300


Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs
Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Blvd.

Houston, TX 77030
713/ 791-1414


VA Outpatient Clinic
1301 West Frank
Lufkin, TX 75901
936/ 637-1342




2000 South Loop 256, Suite 124

Palestine, Texas 75801

903/ 723-9006

Mon. – Fri., 7:30 - 4:30


VA Regional Office
6900 Almeda Road
Houston, Texas 77030-4200
713/ 383-1999

VA Regional Office
One Veterans Plaza
701 Clay
Waco, Texas 76799
254/ 299-9010

VA Medical Center
4800 Memorial Drive
Waco, TX 76711
254/ 752-6581

Central Texas Veterans
Health Care System
Olin Teague Veterans' Ctr.
1901 South 1st Street
Temple, TX 76504
254/ 778-4811



VA Burials and Memorials

Nationwide Grave Locator


Burial in a National Cemetery

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 124 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.


Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family.

Go to for further details, forms and other benefits




Locate a Friend or Loved One

Search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.

To search all you have to do it type in their name - you can search a particular cemetery or all cemeteries.

For example: Type in William Anderson and click on search - Several William Andersons will appear.

Go to






This Program offers Texas Veterans:

  • Skilled-care nursing homes exclusively for Texas Veterans and their spouses
  • Daily rates well below market average, including medications, thanks to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) participation
  • Spacious rooms, large dining rooms, designated activity areas, covered porches, courtyards and landscaped grounds, on-site occupational and physical therapy clinics, special diets, and recreational activities
  • Libraries, beauty shops, barbershops, meditation areas and sitting areas
  • 32-60 certified Alzheimer's care beds in secured wings with separate facilities at each home
  • Homes in Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville, McAllen and Temple
  • New Home in Amarillo to open in Spring 2007.


Eligibility for Admission

To be eligible for admission to a Texas State Veterans Home, an applicant must require long-term nursing care as determined by a physician and meet the following criteria as a Texas veteran:

  • Be a citizen of the Unites States; and
  • Have been a resident of Texas at the time of entry into the service, or
  • Have resided in Texas continuously for the one year immediately prior to application for admission (military residency excluded); and
  • Be a "veteran", as defined in 38 USCA 101 within one of the following categories:
    1. Veterans with service-connected disabilities;
    2. Veterans who are former prisoners of war;
    3. Veterans who were discharged or released from active military service for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty;
    4. Veterans who receive disability compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151;
    5. Veterans whose entitlement to disability compensation is suspended because of the receipt of retired pay;
    6. Veterans whose entitlement to disability compensation is suspended pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 1151, but only to the extent that such veterans' continuing eligibility for nursing home care is provided for in the judgement or settlement described in 38 U.S.C. 1151;
    7. Veterans who VA determines are unable to defray the expenses of necessary care as specified under 38 U.S.C. 1722(a);
    8. Veterans of the Mexican border period or of World War I;
    9. Veterans solely seeking care for a disorder associated with exposure to a toxic substance or radiation or for a disorder associated with service in the Southwest Asia theater of operations during the Persian Gulf War, as provided in 38 U.S.C. 1710(e);
  • Veterans who agree to pay to the United States the applicable co-payment determined under 38 U.S.C. 1710(f) and 1710(g); and
  • Have been discharged other than dishonorably.

Additional eligibility for admission is extended to:

    • The spouse of a living Texas veteran;
    • The unmarried surviving spouse of a Texas veteran whose home of record at the time of entry into the service was Texas; and
    • Gold star parents, all of whose children died while serving the U.S. Armed Forces.



Location and Contact Information - Frequently Asked Questions
Application Form

Contact Information

William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home
1424 Martin Luther King Jr. Lane
Temple, Texas 76504-5941
Phone: 254-791-8280
Fax: 254-791-0262

Texas Veterans Land Board On-site Representative:
Donna Huffman
Contract Administrator: Robert Yarbrough
Professionally Operated By: Care Inns of Texas, Ltd.

Big Spring
Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home
1809 North Highway 87
Big Spring, Texas  79720-0793
Phone: 432-268-VETS (8387)
Fax: 432-268-1987

Texas Veterans Land Board On-site Representative:
Teresa Warrington
Contract Administrator: Ben Mazzara
Professionally Operated By: Senior Dimensions, Inc.

Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home
200 Veterans Drive
Floresville, Texas 78114-2709
Phone: 830-216-9456
Fax: 830-393-7764

Texas Veterans Land Board On-site Representative:
Rosie Garza
Contract Administrator: Brian Threadgill
Professionally Operated By: Care Inns of Texas, Ltd.

Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home
1300 Seven Oaks Road
Bonham, Texas 75418-3254
Phone: 903-640-VETS (8387)
Fax: 903-640-4281

Texas Veterans Land Board On-site Representative:
Amanda Fanning Gilbreath
Contract Administrator: Ron White
Professionally Operated by: Care Inns of Texas, Ltd.

Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home
301 East Yuma Avenue
McAllen, Texas 78503
Phone: 956-682-4224
Fax: 956-682-4668

Texas Veterans Land Board On-site Representative:
Jose Bustamante
Contract Administrator: Diana Zarate
Professionally Operated by: Senior Dimensions, Inc.

El Paso
Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home
9650 Kenworthy Street
El Paso, Texas 79924
Phone: 915-751-0967
Fax: 915-751-0980

Texas Veterans Land Board On-site Representative: Maria Salles
Contract Administrator:
Professionally Operated by: Senior Dimensions, Inc.

Amarillo to open in Spring 2007





To download and print out Application form, please click:
Texas State Veterans Home Application


For more information call:
Texas State Veterans Home Program
1-800-252-VETS (8387)



Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I apply for admission?
A. The application forms are available on this Web site, from a Texas State Veterans Home (SVH), or by calling the Texas Veterans Land Board toll free at 1-800-252-VETS (8387) and requesting one be sent by mail.

Q. When did the State Veterans Homes open?
A. The first Texas SVHs opened in Temple and Floresville in December 2000. The home in Big Spring opened in March 2001, and the home in Bonham opened in June 2001. New locations opened in McAllen in July 2005 and in El Paso in August 2005. Another home will open in Amarillo in Spring 2007.

Q. How are medical services provided in SVH?
A. Professional, long-term care service providers under contract with the Texas Veterans Land Board operate the SVH. Every home has a medical director (physician) and a fully qualified nursing staff who are responsible for providing daily nursing care. Each resident is entitled to receive primary medical care from a physician of the resident's choice. The physicians are individually credentialed by the medical director, who will also review the quality of primary medical care they provide. If medically indicated, specialty medical care may be available at the nearest Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center for qualified veteran residents.

Q. I am a 100 percent service-connected, disabled veteran. Am I eligible for care at a SVH?
A. 100 percent service-connected, disabled veterans may be eligible for admission to a SVH and must pay out of pocket for a portion of their care, as the VA will only allow a per diem payment to a SVH. Please see Rates and Payment for information concerning average costs.

Q. May I sign the application for my spouse?
A. Yes. If the proposed applicant is unable to sign the application form, a spouse or other surrogate decision-maker can request admission. A copy of power of attorney or guardianship documents, if applicable, must be provided.

Q. Whom do I contact for assistance in applying for benefits such as Aid and Attendance from the VA?
A. A veteran should contact the Texas Veterans Commission or the County Veterans Service Officer (listing usually available through the county courthouse or online at The veteran can also access the VA Web site or contact the VLB.

Q. How much does it cost? What is the average cost?
A. Information on the rates and the average cost is available on the Rates and Payment page.

Q. Is there financial assistance to help me pay for the cost of living at the SVH? How much is the VA per diem?
A. Veterans in need of skilled care are eligible for a per diem from the VA that pays $63.40 per day toward the cost of care. Some veterans may be eligible for benefits, such as pensions like Aid and Attendance, from the VA to help pay for the veteran's portion of the cost of care. The resident or their responsible party is responsible for the remaining costs of care. There is no per diem for nonveterans. Some residents may be eligible for Medicaid to help pay for the cost of their care. Information on Medicaid is available at the Texas Department of Aging and Disablility Services Web site.

Q. Can my spouse and I live together in the SVH?
A. Spouses can share a room upon request, if medical needs do not prohibit.

Q. Must a resident have medical needs to qualify for admission to a SVH?
A. Veterans must have a medical necessity for skilled, long-term nursing care as determined by a physician in concurrence with a VA physician in order to qualify for a per diem from the VA. SVH are skilled care facilities. They are not retirement, assisted living, or personal care homes. Medicare and Medicaid eligible residents are also required to meet the same need for skilled care.

Q. Who certifies the SVH?
A. The SVH are licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and are given recognition as a State Veterans Home by the VA.

Q. How does the SVH differ from other homes?
A. The SVH are skilled nursing facilities, designed to serve qualified Texas veterans, their spouses, or Gold Star Parents only. Because of the per diem paid by the VA, the SVH are the most affordable skilled care available in Texas.

Q. Can a VA Community Contract for nursing home care be used for a SVH?
A. No, VA regulations do not allow community contracts to be used to pay for care in a SVH.




How do I get a copy of my Discharge Papers DD-214?

The following information is provided for veterans and families of veterans who need copies of their discharge papers known as DD-214. This information was taken from the government archives web site: .

Military personnel records can be used for proving military service, or as a valuable tool in genealogical research. Most veterans and their next-of-kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) and other military and medical records.

Required Information:

Where to send my request

You can mail or fax your signed and dated request to the National Archives's National Personnel Record Center (NPRC). Most, but not all records, are stored at the NPRC. Be sure to use the address specified by eVetRecs or the instructions on the SF-180. The locations of military service records for active and retired personnel are listed at
Location of Military Service Records.


Military personnel and health record information is usually free for veterans, next-of-kin, and authorized representatives. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as possible.

For more information go to : .




Disabled veterans who meet certain requirements, their surviving spouses and the spouses and minor children of a person who dies on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for property tax exemptions on the appraised value of their property. The exemption is mandatory and applies to taxes levied by all taxing authorities in the State. A veteran, whose service-connected disabilities are rated less than 10% by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or a branch of the Armed Forces, is not entitled to a property tax exemption. For those rated 10% or more, the tax exemptions below apply:

Disability Rating

Tax Exemption

10% through 30%

First $ 5,000 of appraised value

31% through 50%

First $ 7,500 of appraised value

51% through 70%

First $ 10,000 of appraised value

71% or more

First $ 12,000 of appraised value

A veteran whose disability is 10% or more, and who is 65 years or older, is entitled to exemption of the first $12,000 of appraised value of property. A veteran whose disability consists of the loss of use of one or more limbs, total blindness in one or both eyes, or suffers paraplegia, is exempt on the first $12,000 of the appraised value of his property. A veteran who qualifies under more than one of the exemptions may not combine the exemptions, but may take the one providing the largest exclusion. The surviving spouse of a person who dies on active duty is entitled to exemption of the first $5,000 of the appraised value of the spouse's property. A surviving child of a person who dies on active duty is exempt on the first $5,000 of appraised value of the child's property, as long as the child is unmarried and under 21 years of age. The surviving spouse of a deceased veteran who, at the time of the veteran's death had a compensable disability and was entitled to an exemption, is also entitled to that exemption if the surviving spouse is unmarried. This law is administered at the local level by the various taxing authorities. For answers to questions about property values, exemptions, agricultural appraisal, and protests to the appraisal review board, or to apply for exemptions, obtain an application from your appraisal district PLEASE NOTE:  APPLICATION MUST BE COMPLETED BETWEEN JANUARY 1 AND APRIL 30

For more information on Texas Veterans Benefits click on

History of the Cross of Malta

History shows that the Cross of Malta, the emblem of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, is 1,000 years old. Nearly ten centuries ago the Maltese Cross was made the symbol of fighting men who were united by a solemn pledge of comradeship to fight for freedom and to aid the sick and the needy. Those ancient obligations are still symbolized by the Cross of Malta today, for the more than two million former servicemen who are the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Cross of Malta is the symbol of their battles in time of war and of their campaign to defend the God given rights of human beings in time of peace. The Cross of Malta symbolizes the compassion, or sympathy, of those men and women for the needy. It is the sign of services which our contemporary veterans render to help make living a little better for everyone.

To appreciate fully the original meaning of the Cross of Malta we must look back a thousand years, to the Crusaders serving in the Middle East. There we find the Knights of St. John, the worlds first great brotherhood of warriors pledged to chivalry. The Knights of St. John represented all walks of life. They were noblemen and priests, artisans and laborers. Regardless of those differences, however, they were united by a solemn pledge of unwavering courage and compassion. Together they fought against oppression. They carried their crusades far from home across deserts and seas, into the Holy Land, Cyprus, Rhodes and Malta. At the same time they administered to the sick, the needy and to the poor. The Crusaders adopted the Cross of Malta as their insignia because its eight points represented the eight Beatitudes prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. VFW - Malta Cross Those, in effect, declare

(1) blessed are the poor in spirit
(2) the meek
(3) the pure
(4) the merciful
(5) the peacemakers
(6) blessed are they that mourn
(7) seek righteousness
(8) blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake.

The Cross of Malta had a religious origin but the Knights of St. John also made it their battle standard for the liberation of all men, women and children who suffered oppression. The ideals for which the original Crusaders fought parallel the principles of democracy today, freedom and justice.

Centuries passed to the year 1899. Again fighting men banded together. Again they pledged themselves to campaign for the rights of mankind and to administer to the sick, the needy and to the poor. That was the birth of a new organization, known today as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Why did the Veterans of Foreign Wars select the Cross of Malta emblem? What has been added to the Cross and what does the symbol mean? Let us look at the VFW ensign closely. We see the eight-pointed Maltese Cross. Upon the Cross is superimposed the Great Seal of the United States, encircled by the name, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Within the circle is the American eagle, the emblem of a proud nation whose warriors of many generations have fought and sacrificed to preserve the free mans way of living. Between the four arms of the Cross, the Veterans of Foreign Wars has added the suns rays to emphasize the vigor and warmth with which the present day brotherhood defends our ideals. Every detail in the VFW emblem has definite meaning. The Cross, the rays and the seal together symbolize the vows, purpose and character of men and women who have traveled far from home to defend humanity. The Veterans of Foreign Wars is the worlds oldest and largest overseas war veterans organization. It is chartered by the Congress of the United States. That charter states specifically that The purpose of this corporation shall be: Fraternal, Patriotic, Historical and Educational To preserve and Strengthen Comradeship among its members, To assist worthy comrades, to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead, and to assist their widows and orphans. To maintain true allegiance to the government of the United States of America and fidelity to its constitution and laws, to foster true patriotism, to maintain and extend the institutions of American freedom, and to preserve and defend the United States from all her enemies whomsoever.

Upon joining the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a person vows in the presence of Almighty God and the members of this order to maintain loyalty to the government, to the VFW, and to his fellow comrades. When the Cross of Malta is bestowed upon a new VFW member, he or she is pledged to advance the principles of the organization. Like the original Crusaders 1,000 years ago, the 2.1 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today fulfill their vows through a wide variety of vigorously executed services. The VFW is also joined by 750,000 members of our Ladies Auxiliary in our efforts. They foster true patriotism, and strengthen the institutions of freedom by word and deed. They improve their cities, towns and neighborhoods through community service. They give aid to worthy comrades and to the widows and orphans. They extend helping hands to the needy and the sick. Like the original Knights of St. John, those who wear the VFW Maltese Cross express their comradeship in terms of service.

These are the reasons why the Veterans of Foreign Wars chose the Cross of Malta as its emblem. The Cross of Malta symbolizes truly the character and objectives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. People qualified through military service to wear the VFW Cross of Malta do so with pride because that emblem represents the highest of ideals. Every member has earned the Cross of Malta proudly - and he or she wears it proudly.


Combat For Dummies

Advice and instructions taken from actual military sources. Some of these guys must have had a sense of humor

"Aim towards the enemy."
--Instruction printed on U.S. Rocket Launcher

"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend."
--U.S. Marine Corps

"Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground."
--USAF Ammo Troop

"If the enemy is in range, so are you."
--Infantry Journal

"A slipping gear could let your m203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it.
That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit."
--Army's magazine of prevention maintenance

"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed."
--U.S. Air Force Manual

"Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo."
--Infantry Journal

"Tracers work both ways."
--U.S. Army Ordnance

"Five-second fuses only last three seconds."
--Infantry Journal

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid."
--David Hackworth

"If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush."
--Infantry Journal

"No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection."
--Joe Gay

"Any ship can be a minesweeper....once."

"Never tell the platoon sergeant you have nothing to do."
--Unknown Marine Recruit

"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you."
--Infantry Journal

"If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him."
--USAF Ammo Troop




Site designed and maintained by S. G. McLeod
Contact us at info@vfwpost6899