Veterans Benefits Summit Draws Hundreds to Island University

Published: August 25, 2015

Veterans Benefits Summit Draws Hundreds to Island University

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Hundreds of military veterans and their family members gathered at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on August 12 for a Veterans Benefits Summit.

The Student Veterans Organization (SVO) at A&M-Corpus Christi organized the event to bring together resources for veterans in one location, and to help veterans and their family members learn about the federal, state and local benefits available to them. The event was well-attended, with more than 300 people stopping by to visit vendor tables.

"I was really impressed by the number of people in attendance, and how they were able to  learn about the various resources that they may not know about,” said Ryan Harris, President of the Student Veterans Organization at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “Being able to put this benefit together also allowed my organization to form new relationships with more of the veteran community. We have a momentum that we hope to keep up, and we look forward to this upcoming semester."

The SVO has been in existence at A&M-Corpus Christi since 2008 and currently has over 100 members.

Cody McGregor, Texas State Director of Concerned Veterans for America, was one of the keynote speakers. He spoke about why it is critical for our elected officials to pass legislation holding Veterans Affairs accountable, and he urged veterans and their families to exercise their right to vote. McGregor says he was also impressed with the turnout of the summit.

“The student vets down here in Corpus Christi understand that service doesn’t stop when you get out of the military,” McGregor said. “You’ve got to continue to impact your community, whether it is with us at Concerned Veterans for America, at the Student Veterans Organization, or on a committee in college. Whatever it is in your community, you need to make an impact, because otherwise, all those sacrifices are going to be for naught.”

Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX) delivered the general address.

According to the A&M-Corpus Christi Office of Veterans Affairs, there are approximately 1,400 Islander students currently using local, state, or federal military benefits, and that number continues to grow each semester.

To learn more about the Office of Veterans Affairs at A&M-Corpus Christi, call 361.825.2331 or 361.825.3610; or email Veterans.affairs@tamucc.edu. To learn more about the Student Veterans Organization, email Ryan Harris at rharris12@islander.tamucc.edu.

The numerous organizations represented at Veterans Benefits Summit were:

  • American Legion 40/8
  • American Legion Post 364
  • American Red Cross
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Christian Warriors Retreat
  • Coastal Bend Troop Support, Inc.
  • Concerned Veterans for America
  • Corpus Christi Veterans Center
  • Craft Training Center of the Coastal Bend
  • Del Mar College Small Business Center Procurement Technical Assistance Center
  • Family Endeavors
  • Heroes on the Water Coastal Bend Chapter 5310
  • Housing Opportunity Committee
  • Marine Corps League
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart
  • Military Veteran Peer Network
  • National Active and Retired Federal Employees
  • Nueces County Clerk “Thank A Veteran”
  • Nueces County Veteran Services
  • Positional Therapy Pillows
  • River City Hospice
  • South Texas Football Officials Association
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Financial Office
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Student Veterans Organization
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi VA Office
  • Texas General Land Office
  • Texas Veterans Commission
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend
  • Vets Fishing with Vets