Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

November 12, 2012

Veterans services officer provides much-needed support to vets, families

RUSK — Tucked away in the Cherokee County Courthouse basement is the guy with answers to veterans' questions about disability compensation and pensions.

Meet David Thomason, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant and Veterans Service Officer who has advocated for veterans, their families and their survivors since 2008.

“Basically I'm an advocate between veterans and surviving spouses, helping vets with disability compensation and pension, and I help surviving spouses with (questions about) pension. There's a few other things I do as well, but it's primarily dealing with the two topics", he said.

According to the www.va.gov website, “veterans of the United States armed forces may be eligible for a broad range of programs and services provided by the VA, including health care, veteran's compensation and pension, survivors’ benefits, rehabilitation and employment assistance, education assistance, home loan guaranties and life insurance coverage.”

The VA also provides burial and memorial benefits for eligible service members, veterans, reservists, National Guard members and their eligible family members.

In Cherokee County – part of the Central Texas Veterans Administration District – the VA has identified approximately 4,300 veterans in the county, “but I figure there's well over 5,000, because I know there's a lot who don't qualify to be in the VA system,” he said.

“There's a very high vet population here, and a lot of the ones I'm seeing are older. One of things we're working on is to figure out ways to get the younger vets in, those who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added. “The East Texas area is a (rich) area for recruiters (because) a lot of kids in this area are joining the service.”

He said there is no exact figure for the number of veterans he has worked with over the past four years, because “some we continuously work with, some we might not see for a while, and others are new (clients) coming in.”

However, “we've got a good number of surviving spouses in this area, and a lot of older vets,” Thomason said. “We kind of keep an eye on them, because the number of vets we have in the system declines every year.”

To learn more about veteran benefits, contact Thomason or his assistant, Allie Dixon, at 903-683-4012.

Text Only
Local News
  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tina_Baggett.tif Gallatin resident seeks help with expenses after diagnosis

    A Gallatin woman and longtime employee at Prosperity Bank is about to undergo the first stage of procedures for stem cell harvesting.
    Tina Baggett, 51, became unable to work in February due to complications from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bullard group rallies behind alcohol petition

    A petition calling for a city-wide city election this November that would make all areas of Bullard wet, including those which fall in Cherokee County, has proven successful, as more than the required 221 signatures have been collected.

    July 19, 2014

  • mom and kids_6776.tif Jacksonville woman celebrates 100th birthday surrounded by family, friends

    Ethel Terry, a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, celebrated her 100th birthday with an open house on July 15 at the Twin Oaks Care Facility in Jacksonville.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery grass.tif Extra rainfall produces more abundant lawns, extends hay season

    Steady periods of rain this summer have been a homeowner's dream, as lawns appear more lush than in previous years.
    But for city workers, that same growth has taken on nightmarish proportions.
    “It's a maintenance nightmare,” said Ben Briley, director of the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cherokee County arrests: July 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    July 19, 2014

  • Detective recovers nearly $7K in case

    When a Jacksonville woman became a victim of a scam, Jacksonville Police Detective Greg Compton stopped at nothing to solve the case.
    In early January, Compton said a neighbor of a 94-year-old woman reported that someone had “taken advantage of her.”

    July 17, 2014

  • Bullard ISD names interim leader

    During a meeting Monday night, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees appointed Joe Dan Lee as Interim Superintendent.

    July 17, 2014