Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee supports former military personnel

A veteran and children watch a Veterans Day ceremony in 2016. (Lindsey Juarez Monsivais/Community Impact Newspaper)
A veteran and children watch a Veterans Day ceremony in 2016. (Lindsey Juarez Monsivais/Community Impact Newspaper)

A veteran and children watch a Veterans Day ceremony in 2016. (Lindsey Juarez Monsivais/Community Impact Newspaper)

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When a veteran settles into life outside of the military, it does not mean he or she has to stop serving. A resident-run committee seeks to show former military personnel how to plug into the community.

The Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee is an organization that supports and celebrates local veterans. The committee often partners with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8273 and American Legion Peter J. Courcy Post 178.

“It’s taking what we have imprinted on our being from being called to service in the military and now actually saying, ‘I’m going to serve my community,’” committee chairman Rob Altman said.

In 2016, newly elected Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney made it one of his priorities to support veterans. Cheney said he charged the previously established, ad-hoc committee with forming new initiatives to make Frisco a veteran-friendly city.

“It’s bringing a sense of pride to veterans—that their community supports them and values them,” Cheney said.

The committee helps veterans learn how to get involved in the community through job and service opportunities. Altman, who is also a veteran, said the organization helps connect vets with job openings and workforce skills training opportunities.

The committee also celebrates veterans’ contributions to the community. One such way is by selecting a Distinguished Veteran of the Year. This veteran is someone who has lived in Frisco for at least a year and is actively serving the community, Altman said. Committee members submit nominations to Cheney, who selects the award recipient.

The 2019 award recipient is Frisco resident Peter Burns, who served for 20 years with the United States Army Signal Corps.

The committee also helped designate Frisco as a Purple Heart City, a proclamation that signifies the city recognizes the contributions of those who have received a Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is a medal awarded to military members who were wounded in combat or by an act of international terrorism, according to The Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The committee comprises mostly veterans, though those who have never served in the military are welcome to get involved as well, Altman said. The committee’s meetings are open to the public, he said.

John Keating, a Frisco City Council member and a veteran who is involved with the Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee, said one of the committee’s goals is to help the public see veterans in a new and positive light.

“Not every veteran is a suicide risk; not every veteran is an amputee; not every veteran is physically or emotionally scarred,” Keating said. “A lot of these folks are amazing leaders, incredibly intelligent, hardworking, and they’re ready to volunteer; they’re ready for that job you’re offering.”

Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee

Meets at 6 p.m. on the last Monday of the month
Frisco City Hall

6101 Frisco Square Blvd., fifth floor, Frisco
By Lindsey Juarez
Lindsey has been involved in newspapers in some form since high school. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2014 with a degree in Journalism. While attending UTA, she worked for The Shorthorn, the university's award-winning student newspaper. She was hired as Community Impact Newspaper's first Frisco reporter in 2014. Less than a year later, she took over as the editor of the Frisco edition. Since then, she has covered a variety of topics and issues important to the community, including the city's affordable housing shortage, the state's controversial A-F school accountability system and the city's "Bury the Lines" efforts.