veterans

Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument
11:55 am
Mon September 23, 2013

South Vietnamese Figure Removed from Texas' Vietnam War Memorial

Members of the Vietnamese community outside the Texas State Preservation Board hearing inside the Texas Capitol.
Matthew Alvarez for KUT News

The Texas State Preservation Board voted Friday to move forward with a proposed Vietnam War veterans' monument at the Texas Capitol. The final design features American combat troops – and not a South Vietnamese solider as initially proposed.

In 2005, the Texas Legislature authorized a Vietnam War memorial for the Texas Capitol grounds. The proposed design featured several combat-weary soldiers – one of them a South Vietnamese solider. But the backers of the memorial, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Monument Committee, chose to remove that figure. The preservation board approved the final design Friday. 

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Health
8:53 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Austin's New Outpatient VA Clinic is the Largest in the Country

Austin's new VA Clinic is the largest freestanding clinic in the U.S.
Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System

Austin’s new VA clinic opened this week, becoming the largest free-standing VA outpatient clinic in the U.S. The new, state-of-the-art clinic will to help accommodate Central Texas’s fast growing veteran population across 39 counties.

The clinic currently serves 23,000 veterans. The VA hopes to increase that number to 30,000 by 2025 with the expanded facilities, according to Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System spokeswoman Deborah Meyer.

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Education
12:43 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Military Service for College Credit? Texas Plan Gets $1.5 Million Boost

Texas veterans are being offered expanded advantages to attend college.
flickr.com/bright_idea

The Texas Workforce Commission is awarding Austin Community College over $90,000 as part of its College Credit for Heroes program.

ACC is one of six colleges joining the program, which is designed to translate veterans’ military experience into college credit hours.

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Veterans
4:37 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Texas Receives $750,000 Federal Grant to Help Veterans Find Jobs

Austin's Veterans Day parade in 2011. Texas is receiving a federal grant to help with veterans’ employment.
KUT News

Texas was given a $750,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to help U.S. veterans find jobs when they come home.

Along with Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina, the grant will reach out to active-duty soldiers within 90 days of their return from the Army, Texas Army National Guard and the Army Reserve.

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Austin
11:32 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Honor Flight Austin Departs Today With Texas' Oldest Living Vet Aboard

Richard Overton, 107, is the oldest living veteran in Texas. He was honored for his service at a May 9th Austin City Council meeting
Marissa Barnett, KUT News

35 Central Texas World War II veterans, including Texas’ oldest living veteran, are flying to Washington D.C. today as part of the Honor Flight program.

The flight leaves Austin Bergstrom International Airport at 12:30 p.m. after a ceremonial send off from Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. Honor Flight Austin Chairman Allen Bergeron, a flight nurse and one guardian per veteran will also be on the flight. The trip is just one day, but the itinerary is packed with memorial visits and a trip to Arlington National Cemetery.

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2013 Legislative Session
5:35 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Bill Would Give Unclaimed Ashes of Veterans Final Resting Place

The Missing in America Project helps inter cremated remains of unclaimed veterans.
Missing in America Project

Funeral homes across the country face a challenge that might surprise you. They’re storing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of unclaimed cremated human remains.

A bill before the Texas Senate today would address part of the problem – at least for deceased veterans.

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Texas
12:42 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Vets Commission Gives Out $3M Despite Dwindling Lotto Funding

A U.S. Army Soldier hugs his daughter at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas April 3, 2007, after returning from Iraq.
Cherie A. Thurlby

The Texas Veterans Commission gave out $3 million in grants today to more than two dozen organizations across the state that help veterans readjust to civilian life.

About $800,000 of it will go to programs that assist veterans here in Central Texas.

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Politics
5:22 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Legislature Talks Jobs for Vets

A Senate committee is looking at measures to help returning vets make the transition to civilian life.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News.

Unemployment among U.S. veterans fell in 2012 but is still higher than the rest of the workforce. Two bills dealing with vets and employment are before the Texas Senate Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. One would help veterans find work in Texas agencies; the other would ensure they could take time off from work.

Both bills are aimed at reintegrating veterans into civilian life and jobs.

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Education
7:17 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Veterans Education Requirements Putting Strain on Texas Colleges?

UT-Austin's Student Veterans Services guides veterans through the benefits of the Hazelwood Act.
Teresa Vieira for KUT News

Colleges and universities in Texas are struggling to pay for the tuition benefits they give to qualifying veterans and their dependents as part of a program called the Hazlewood Act.

As the number of veterans rises, higher education leaders say their institutions need help tackling the costs.

“We continuously get pulled at not to increase tuition. We don’t want to increase tuition. But those are the issues that we follow," Kenth Hance, Texas Tech University Systems Chancellor, says.

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Austin
3:08 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

City Council Update: Austin Energy Hearing; Vets Board, Music Venue Program Approved

flickr.com/ennuiislife

Update: The council gave preliminary approval to an independent Austin Energy board Thursday night. You can read more here.

Original Post:The Austin City Council has made short work of today’s agenda, passing most items early.

One agenda item is still outstanding, and should create some sparks: a resolution calling for an independent governance board to oversee operations at Austin Energy.

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Texas
2:41 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Veterans Expo Offers Support in Fight Against Benefit Backlog

The Veterans Expo offered classes on securing employment and education benefits, as well as meetings with disability case workers
KUT News

The theme of this year's Texas Veterans' Expo was simple: Answering the call.

But meeting that call has been difficult.

The Texas Veterans Commission's job is to connect veterans with benefits. But the TVC's Executive Director Thomas Palladino said disabled veterans in this state have had a hard time getting their requests answered.

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The Lead
9:05 am
Wed February 13, 2013

The Lead: Animal Center's 'No Kill' 2012, Dewhurst at Vets' Expo

An Austin Animal Center worker cajoles a wayward dog. The center finished 2012 with its no-kill standing intact.
KUT News

Good morning. Austin’s in for a sunny and mild day according to the National Weather Service, with highs in the low to mid-60s.

Lead Story: Despite crowded conditions and a longer-than-expected “kitten season,” the Austin Animal Center finished 2012 with its “no-kill” record intact.

The city shelter ended the fourth quarter of 2012 with a 91 percent live outcome rate. The no-kill benchmark is a 90 percent live outcome rate.

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Texas
4:37 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Sniper Chris Kyle Buried in Austin

Patriot Guard riders fly flags during Chris Kyle's funeral.
Luke Quinton for KUT News

The funeral procession for ex-Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle drew hundreds to the Texas State Cemetery today. Crowds of spectators filled overpasses along the motorcade's procession route, from Midlothian, Texas to Austin, in order to offer their respects.

Howard Herring served in the Marine Corps in the sixties. Today was his first funeral service as a member of the Patriot Guard, a group of motorcycle riders who attend military funerals as guests of the family. Herring summed up the mood of many in attendance.

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Texas
2:24 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Photos: The Chris Kyle Funeral Procession Arrives in Austin (Update)

Supporters outside the Texas State Cemetery waited for Kyle's motorcade to arrive.
Luke Quinton for KUT News

Update: The funeral procession of Chris Kyle arrived in Austin around noon. Crowds of watchers lined  Interstate 35 and the Texas State Cemetery with flags and signs.

The procession was escorted by a motorcade which included 200 motorcycles, motor coaches, police cruisers, military personnel and first responders.

At least two Patriot Guard Riders who were riding ahead of the procession on its way to Austin were involved in an accident near Bell County according to Texas Department of Public Safety officials. They remain hospitalized.

Original Story:
Former Navy SEAL and "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle will be buried in Austin today.

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The Lead
9:27 am
Mon February 11, 2013

The Lead: Anderson Inquiry Ends, Texas SEAL Chris Kyle Eulogized

Michael Morton watches as the court of inquiry explores former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson's role in Morton's wrongful conviction, on Feb. 6, 2013.
Callie Richmond, Texas Tribune

Good morning. The National Weather Service says Austin can expect continued chances for rain and highs in the 60s today.

Lead Story: Former Williamson County district attorney Ken Anderson has denied any misconduct in the case of Michael Morton, the man who was wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder and spent 25 years in prison.

Anderson, now a judge in Georgetown, is facing allegations that as a prosecutor he hid evidence that would have proved Morton’s innocence.

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Guns
4:57 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

'American Sniper' Chris Kyle To Be Interred in Texas State Cemetery

Retired Navy SEAL and sniper Chris Kyle will be buried in Austin's state cemetery.
flickr.com/austincameraguy

Services were held for Chad Littleton today at the First Baptist Church in Midlothian, Texas. He, along with former Navy SEAL and best-selling “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle were killed Saturday at a gun range outside of Fort Worth. Kyle was reportedly killed by a fellow veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kyle will be buried Tuesday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, following a Monday service at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Thousands are expected to attend the public ceremony Monday to remember the man widely recognized as “America’s deadliest sniper.”

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Texas
10:59 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Reports: 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle Died While Trying To Help Fellow Veteran

Chris Kyle, retired Navy SEAL and bestselling author of the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, in April 2012. He was killed Saturday.
Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:56 am

More is being learned today about former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and the man accused of killing the decorated Iraq War veteran.

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Texas
9:01 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Fatalities Reported as Train Hits Veterans Parade Trailer in Texas

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 9:54 am

At least four people are dead and several others injured after a train crashed into a trailer carrying veterans during a parade in West Texas.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram spoke to Midland Chief of Police Price Robinson. Here's what the paper says:

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Veterans Day
8:24 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Veterans Day Celebrations and Closures

This year Veterans Day observations will be two days, Sunday and Monday
KUT News

Sunday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. On Monday, city, state and federal government offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.

There are several events planned over the two days to celebrate the service of U.S. military veterans. 

On Sunday, Austin and Travis County will host a Veterans Day Parade downtown. The parade will kick off at 9 a.m. on the South Congress Bridge and head to the Texas Capitol.  At 11 a.m., the Commemorative Air Force of San Marcos will hold a memorial and flyover at the south steps of the Capitol. (You can find information about street closures here.)

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Texas
8:18 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Lotto Ticket Aiding Vets Pulls in Pennies on the Dollar

The Texas Lotto scratch-off, which helps out veterans, is losing sales.
Texas Lottery

Veterans Cash is a $2 scratch-off Texas Lottery ticket that adds revenue to the Fund for Veterans' Assistance. But sales of the ticket, which made $8.1 million in 2011, have plummeted by 42 percent this year, to $4.7 million.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, since Veterans' Cash was launched in 2009, it has raised $20.8 million for the fund. The state's Fund for Veterans' Assistance awards funds through general assistance grants and the Housing4TexasHeroes program. Those programs provide veterans with services including financial assistance, transportation, counseling, housing assistance, and family services.

The Express-News writes declining lotto sales "means the Texas Veterans Commission is likely to turn down a bigger percentage of applications than it already does. The commission in 2011 had 190 applications and funded 37."

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