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Military & Veterans' Issues

San Antonio Coalition For Veterans And Families Annual Festival Saturday

A local group organized to help veterans overcome immediate, urgent needs as they leave active duty, celebrates its annual “Bridging the Gap” festival this Saturday.

San Antonio Coalition for Veterans and Families founder, Retired Lt. Col. Hector Villarreal, said the services provided by the group sometimes literally bridge a gap between military and civilian paychecks.

“Things like, ‘Can you please help me? I’m being evicted from my apartment or my home because I’ve missed a month’s rent,’ as an example,” Villarreal said. “Or, ‘Thank you for helping me with finding a job, but I’m three weeks away from my first paycheck. Can you please help me with some money for gas and food for my family?’”

Villarreal said the gap is often created by the bureaucracy the soldier served. Transitioning service members may be waiting for VA services, or for a disability designation or some other glitch that creates a gap in income as they transition out of active duty.

The festival was created as a way to build awareness among the community of the services available.

The event is from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday at the VFW Post 76 downtown.