The Veterans Partnership Initiative was announced at the Nov. 11 City Council meeting. The purpose of the program is to better highlight what the city of Richardson offers to veterans, according to Deputy City Manager Don Magner.
Staff is proposing several new initiatives to enhance what is already available locally:
- Veterans Initiative Partnership web page: The web page, launched this month, provides links where veterans can find specialized services offered at local and nearby organizations, Magner said. The website is also home to an oral history video series that features the stories of Richardson’s veterans.
- Collaborate with veterans on Memorial Park improvements: Included in the annual parks maintenance plan is funding to renovate Memorial Park in east Richardson. Staff is proposing a partnership with local veterans organizations that can provide feedback and help set priorities.
- Seek designation of a Purple Heart City: The designation is bestowed by the Military Order of the Purple Heart on cities that go above and beyond to recognize veterans, especially those who have received a Purple Heart. Purple Hearts are given to veterans who were wounded or killed in action.
- Establish an annual veterans event: The event would give veterans a direct audience with city officials and staff members so that they could share their insights and talk about the challenges faced by their community. It would be held each year before Veterans Day. Staff would take the feedback and create a summary report to be shared with council. Magner said the first event will likely occur in 2020.
Over the next few months, Magner said staff will continue to build upon these initiatives.
Mayor Paul Voelker expressed his support for the program.
“We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, but in a time when things are complicated and crazy ... making it simpler is a significant value proposition in and of itself,” he said.