Commissioner Bush: GLO innovating online service to benefit Texas veterans

Contact: Brittany Eck
512-463-5708
brittany.eck@glo.texas.gov
PDF Version
PRESS RELEASE — Mar 10, 2015

AUSTIN – Commissioner George P. Bush today unveiled the redesigned and streamlined Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) website – www.texasveterans.com. As Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, Bush concurrently serves as Chairman of the VLB. The new website creates easy access to information about VLB functions and services including low-interest land, home, and home improvement loans; land sales; the Veterans Call Center; Veterans Homes and Texas Veterans Cemeteries. As a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Bush has made serving veterans a priority and a lifelong commitment.
 
“The VLB provides Texas veterans with benefits beyond those of the federal government,” Bush said. “As a fellow veteran, my goal as Chairman of the VLB is to raise awareness of all available benefits and services. Our veterans earned these benefits and our new website is designed to facilitate information sharing and accessing benefits simple and convenient.”
 
The purpose of the VLB website redesign—the first of the GLO websites to be redesigned—is to streamline access to information and benefits provided by the VLB while presenting a consistent user-friendly experience and delivering a contemporary look that supports the VLB brand. The Java-based animations present the VLB logo and offerings icons in a compelling fashion while delivering an updateable image reveal-area to promote upcoming events and land sales. The website presents a real-time grid-based view of all recent VLB social media activities occurring across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
“Our challenge was to consolidate the existing text-heavy web pages and simplify the complicated navigation. The VLB website is now easy to navigate and presents relevant information on every page,” said Bryan Preston, GLO Communications Director and veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “By utilizing responsive design, all VLB web pages now automatically re-orient their layouts for optimal viewing on various device displays regardless of operating system. Therefore, veterans can easily navigate the site from a smartphone, tablet, or computer display.”
 
Loans and Land Sales
Veterans interested in obtaining a loan or buying land now have easier access to more easily understood information. On the VLB loans pages, veterans can find relevant information related to low-interest land, home and home improvement loans in addition to lender and Realtor searches. The land sales pages present land sale information in a contemporary, easy to navigate fashion that:Delivers online image galleries of each tract for sale
Integrates with online bidding and offer submission systems
Integrates with social media, allowing the public to post tract information and images to Facebook, Twitter,  Google Plus and Pinterest

Texas State Veterans Homes
Veterans now have a better sense of the amenities, atmosphere and activities available at Texas State Veterans Homes by viewing full-screen video and photos. Additionally, 360 degree panoramic virtual tours are available for the El Paso, McAllen and Temple homes. Information about the homes and eligibility has been consolidated into one easy to navigate page.
 
Texas State Veterans Cemeteries
VLB Texas State Veterans Cemeteries are hallowed grounds that show our respect for the Texas men and women who have served our nation with distinction. The new VLB website clearly presents location and contact information and includes a handy mapping feature. Additionally, there are links to simple explanations of burial options, eligibility requirements and costs.
 
VLB Fairs, Forms, and Veterans Call Center
The events page details upcoming Veterans Benefits Fairs, which are held throughout the year and at locations throughout the state. At these fairs, the VLB connects veterans, military members and their spouses to valuable federal, state and county benefits through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Texas Veterans Commission. The forms page centralizes all necessary downloadable forms on a single page organized by category. The contact page provides veterans with names and photos of Veterans Call Center phone operators so they can see who they are speaking with on the other line. Additionally, veterans have the option to ask questions online.
 
The Texas General Land Office is committed to improving the quality of service to our veterans and all Texans through innovation, prioritization and reorganization. Over the next few months, all GLO websites will be consolidated, improved and relaunched to promote services provided by the Texas General Land Office.
 
Follow the Texas General Land Office on Facebook at http://www.txglo.org/facebook, or on Twitter at www.txglo.org/twitter, or YouTube at www.txglo.org/youtube. Follow the Texas Veterans Land Board at https://www.facebook.com/TXVLB, or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TexasVLB, or YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/TexasVLB.
 
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