The Williamson County Veterans Services Office is still looking for veterans to provide assistance with, after the county secured $210,000 in state grant funding in July.

The overview

Williamson County is home to roughly 38,000 veterans, ranking the 10th largest county in the state for veteran populations.

However, close to 5% of Williamson County veterans – 1,706 individuals – earn an annual income at or below poverty level, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Veteran Services Grant Coordinator Brenda Staples said reaching veterans is the office’s biggest obstacle when it comes to serving those most in need.

“The big challenge is I know they're out there. I know people in need are out there and I know that quite often those people in need are ashamed.” Staples said. “We stand at the ready and the resources are available. We hope to see more people feel comfortable to reach out and take hold of a wonderful resource.”

The backstory

Partnering with the Texas Veterans Commission, Gov. Greg Abbott awarded grants totaling over $6.4 million to 24 organizations in Central Texas.

The money will provide $1000 emergency assistance to veterans for rent, mortgage or utility payments. An additional option for financial assistance includes $1000 towards burial services.

“Texans are forever indebted to the brave men and women who selflessly protected the freedoms we enjoy every day,” Abbott said in a press release. “Texas will always support our veterans and their families.”

Learn more

The county agency serves a variety of veterans from all different periods of service, with just over half of Williamson County’s veteran population over the age of 55–many of whom served in the Vietnam War.

“Those veterans—when they returned from Vietnam and separated from the military—were treated unfairly. There was a lot of resentment towards the Vietnam War and they didn't receive the benefits that they were entitled to,” Jonathan Williams, an assistant veterans service officer for Williamson County, said. “So there has been a push and effort with the Vietnam veterans to make sure we get those guys taken care of.”

More information about the financial assistance is available by calling or stopping by the WilCo Veteran Services office.