Commissioner Bush raised the VLB land loan limit by 25 percent from $100,000 to $125,000. Raising the land loan limit makes it easier for Texas veterans to obtain the financing they need to pursue their dreams of home ownership, business leadership, and economic security.
Commissioner Bush launched a new website for Texas veterans, offering streamlined access to all the benefits they’ve earned. Commissioner Bush made serving veterans a top priority, and in keeping with that, began the larger effort of redesigning all GLO websites with the launch of the VLB website. The redesigned VLB site is a state-of-the-art portal through which Texas veterans can find out about land and home loans, veterans homes, and burial benefits at a Texas State Veterans Cemetery.
Commissioner Bush initiated a multi-agency effort to staff a 1-800 call service center with trained benefit counselors to serve all veterans, military members and their families. Commissioner Bush rededicated VLB efforts to assist our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen transitioning from military to civilian life. The VLB, the Texas Veterans Commission and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are now collaborating to operate a fully staffed call center at 1-800-252-VETS. Call center operators – many being veterans themselves – will connect their fellow veterans to information or services they need, ranging from financial, medical or mental health related.
Commissioner Bush submitted a grant application to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a ninth Texas State Veterans Home, near Houston. Commissioner Bush aims to pull together all available state and federal veterans resources in one place, creating a Warrior City to serve our veterans.
Commissioner Bush ordered sweeping changes to a handful of policies at our Texas State Veterans Cemeteries. Commissioner Bush has eliminated the cost of spousal interment, extended visiting hours and relaxed flower policies. The cost of spousal interment was slashed from $745 to $0, making it easier than ever for veterans and their families to stay together. Visiting hours have been extended to last from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. to better accommodate those wishing to visit the grounds. Additionally, artificial flowers may now be placed at grave sites year-round and flower pick ups will now take place once a month instead of twice a month. With these changes, Texas State Veterans Cemeteries continue to help push Texas forward as the best state for veterans in the country.
Commissioner Bush initiated a first of its kind program in our eight Texas State Veterans Homes to better identify and treat post-traumatic-stress. Commissioner Bush has ensured we’re serving the next generation of men and women who have fought for this country. It’s the kind of effort that will help Texas continue to be the best state in the nation for not just current veterans, but also for the next generation of soldier, sailor or airman.
Commissioner Bush oversaw the most VLB loans since 1998 in FY15. September, the first month of FY16, was one of the most successful months in VLB history.
Commissioner Bush oversaw expansions at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen and the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery in Mission. Commissioner Bush is dedicated to fulfilling our obligations to veterans. The expansions will ensure these obligations are met for years to come. Interment at a Texas State Veterans Cemetery isn’t an entitlement – it is a right that each and every Texas veteran has earned through their service.
Commissioner Bush approved zero-interest loans for veterans victimized by the spring floods in central Texas. Commissioner Bush believes in times of disaster it is our duty to serve those who have served us so faithfully, and by offering interest-free loans to our veterans after this disaster, he turned that belief into reality.