veterans

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."

Chip Skambis

Austin military veterans and Texas-based entrepreneurs have launched an online portal to connect vets and their spouses to openings in franchise employment and ownership.

The initiative aims to help improve the high unemployment rate among veterans, which has reached 7.2% in Texas.

The Texas Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centerand The Dwyer Groupannounced their support and collaboration with the International Franchise Association in creating The Veterans Franchise (VetFran) Toolkit.

Photo by KUT News

Austin will commemorate the end of the Iraq War with a parade down Congress Avenue on July 7.  After the parade, there will be a job and resource fair for veterans inside the Capitol Building.

One veteran with multiple tours in Iraq says that’s important.

“I’m really happy that we’re having this job and resource fair because it can really provide a lot to service members. When you get out, a good support group is probably one of the best things you have, because when you’re in the army, you’re a team, and when you get out, you’re an individual again,” said U.S. Army veteran Marco Orrantia.

Friday is Veterans Day. This week during Morning Edition, KUT has been reporting on how United States military engagement has left a lasting impact on the lives of Texans.

This morning, KUT's Jennifer Stayton examined advances in medical technology that resulted from the need to treat wounded soldiers. 

“The only winner in war is medicine,” Col. Evan Renz said. Renz directs the Army’s burn center in San Antonio.

Check out the video above that Katie Hayes Luke shot and edited for our story. 

On Thursday, we'll take a minute to pause in appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the United States without asking any questions. 

Veterans are never immune to aging or poverty, and as we see in this video produced by KUT News intern Sobia Lodhi, local agencies like Meals on Wheels are there to lend a helping hand when others are not.

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