Mayor’s Panel Meeting Needs Of Local Veterans
It's been one year since the Mayor's Veterans Roundtable was created and Tyler officials said the group is making important strides to address the needs of local veterans.
The panel was charged with developing and implementing a community blueprint for supporting and enhancing veterans' services in Tyler. The focus of the group has been on employment, education, housing, medical care and mental health.
"Since the creation of the Veterans Roundtable, significant progress has been made toward enhancing the relationship between veterans, their families and the Tyler community," Mayor Barbara Bass said in a prepared statement.
"The members of the roundtable have worked tirelessly to ensure Tyler's veterans have the resources they need available to them. I am very pleased with the progress that has been made in one short year."
Smith County is home to nearly 18,000 veterans as well as the Watkins-Logan-Garrison Veterans Home in Tyler, which opened in November. The economic impact of veterans to the Smith County economy is estimated to be $60.8 million annually, city officials said.
"Veterans have service and sacrifice for others in their DNA and the veterans and Community Roundtable gives them the opportunity to continue to serve in making things better, not only for our veterans and their families, but for the entire community," Major General John T. Furlow, U.S. Army retired, said in a statement.
Some of the achievements include creating a social media presence, promoting job fairs, initiating communication with local colleges, conducting a housing survey, lobbying for federal housing support and pushing for health care opportunities.
The Veterans Roundtable also created a blueprint to address gaps in services in a way that is specific to the Tyler community, officials said.
"The Roundtable has increased community awareness of veterans needs," the mayor said. "It is truly promoting the City of Tyler as a place that really cares about their veterans."