Hear our veterans voices

“Average Americans don’t have a clue what military families go through”
—Kenneth Fisher, CEO, Fisher House Foundation

About Veterans Voices

KLRN, the Emmy award-winning public television station serving 30 counties in South Central Texas, in partnership with local, regional and national businesses, foundations and nonprofits, has launched a multi-year initiative to serve veterans and their families. Veterans Voices will:

  • Provide a platform for veterans to share their experiences, both at war and at home, with the communities they have served.
  • Give civilians, who may not fully understand the military experience, an opportunity to become aware of the challenges many veterans and their families face during transitions coming back from war and for years afterwards.
  • Offer free educational workshops for military parents, caregivers and children focusing on:
    • Strengthening military families by improving emotional well-being, parental resilience and social connections.
    • Helping parents prepare their children for success in school.
    • Giving parents and caregivers the tools to foster healthy nutritional habits for the entire family.

Need

Over 40% of veterans who transition out of the military from a San Antonio military installation choose the San Antonio region as their permanent home. With the coming drawdown of troops estimated at 40,000 to 50,000, veterans and their families will relocate to this region over the next five years.

While some veterans successfully transition to civilian life, others struggle, feeling isolated and alone after years of structured military life.

  • According to the Center for Public Integrity, veteran suicide rates are more than double, and in some cases triple, that of the civilian population.
  • The Center for New American Security reports a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes.
  • Justice for Vets estimates one in five Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, and one in six post 9/11 veterans has a substance abuse problem.
  • According to the Bush Institute, the unemployment rate for post 9/11 veterans is higher than non-veterans in the same demographic group (9.0% vs. 7.9%).

Goals

  • Give veterans a platform to share their stories and by doing so help them begin to heal.
  • Educate civilians on issues facing veterans and their families in hopes of inspiring them to help.
  • Connect veterans and their families with resources to assist with the transition to civilian life.
  • Help military parents, caregivers and children thrive.

Advisory Panel

Charles G. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Major General, United States Army Retired
Chief of Staff & Vice President for Strategic Initiatives & Military Affairs
Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Melissa Beach
Military and Veterans Community Council Lead
Director, Training and Services
San Antonio Area Foundation

Ricardo Wade
Lt. Colonel, United States Air Force Retired
Military Outreach Coordinator
2-1-1 Texas United Way
United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County

Martha Spinks, Ph.D.
Lt. Colonel, United States Army Retired
Director, Bexar Area Agency on Aging
Alamo Area Council of Governments

Queta L. Marquez
United States Marine Corps Retired
County Veterans Service Officer
Bexar County Veterans Service Office

Candy Martin
Gold Star Mother

Sig Christenson
Senior Reporter and Co-founder Military Reporters and Editors
San Antonio Express News

Julie Coffey
Community Affairs Leader
Military Child Education Coalition

Rodney E. Leonard
Veteran Services Representative-South
U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Barbara Lau
Special Projects
Bob Woodruff Foundation

Chuck Bunch
United States Air Force Retired
Director of Military Relations and Business Development
Red McCombs Toyota

Steve Fogle
Chairman
Returning Heroes Home

Alan L. Peterson, Ph.D., ABPP
Professor and Chief, Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
Director, STRONG STAR Consortium
Director, Consortium to Alleviate PTSD
Deputy Chair for Military Collaboration
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio