Local, state, and federal officials held the grand opening Monday for the New Military and Veterans Services Center on the city's East Side.
The facility, just outside the gates of Fort Sam Houston on East Grayson, assists veterans during their first six months of civilian life by helping them with tasks including finding jobs and identifying the benefits they are entitled to, county officials said.
"It's not easy, and it's not the military's responsibility to teach you how to do that. It's our responsibility outside the gate,” said Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff, a former Navy petty officer second class who led the effort to increase the county's investment in local veterans.
Commissioner Wolff is the current acting executive director for the veterans service office and the court's liaison to military and veterans services.
Wolff said there are roughly 200,000 veterans in Bexar County, alongside another 4,000 who discharge from local bases every year. Wolf said the most important thing for veterans choosing to stay in San Antonio is employment.
“What is most important whether you are a veteran or not is a job,” he said. “If you got a job, that helps you take care of yourself and your family better than anything else.”
Funded by Commissioners Court in 2017, the center will also help veterans and their families into colleges and work programs, according to a news release.
The county’s existing Veteran Service Office will also be moving to the new center.
Congressman Will Hurd, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Joint Base San Antonio commander and Brigadier General Laura Lenderman, and County Commissioner Paul Elizondo also attended the opening.
Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org