Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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June 26, 2013

Former LMC campus could be veterans' haven

JACKSONVILLE —

Imagine a state-of-the-art college focusing on the betterment of veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

There would be classes. Counseling. Dormitories. Financial aid. Ultimately, a way to thank veterans for their tireless service to their country — while imparting marketable skills and helping them get back on their feet financially.

It could mean national recognition for Jacksonville. And serve as a worthy replacement for the now-defunct, bankrupt, Lon Morris College.

It's an idea under consideration by Jack Webb, owner of the Jacksonville company 11x17. In mid-May, Webb issued a call to community advocates looking to replace Lon Morris with another educational institution.

“Essentially, if this idea could gain the support of the community, it could be a huge benefit for Jacksonville and veterans,” Webb elaborated Wednesday. “Veterans could use this opportunity to regroup after coming back from war. So many of them come back disabled. They need counseling, training, eduction, and somewhere to stay.”

This could be a totally unique opportunity, Webb said, but the effort would need to be backed by city support.

“First, we need to make sure the community wants to do this,” Webb said. “Then we would have to calculate how much money would be needed to do it and figure out how to get those funds.”

During the recent Lon Morris auction, Webb acquired much property that would be ideal to use as the foundation of a veteran's college, he said.

It's mission would be much in the same spirit as organizations such as the Lone Survivor Foundation. LSF is a a non-profit organization that focuses on helping wounded service members and their families using health, wellness, and therapeutic support. It was established in 2010 by Retired US Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, a Houston native. One of its facets is the North Cypress Medical Center a 175-bed acute care hospital located in the northwest Houston area.

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