Veterans standing down at DETCOG event

Lufkin, Texas (KETK) - Detcog held a special event for veterans in Lufkin.

It was called a Veterans Stand Down" and it was Detcog's first attempt at an event like this.

Among the many topics covered at the event was veterans who are homeless.

"There are programs, not near enough, that address veterans homelessness," said East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. "It's one of the most heart breaking things, we have people that fought for us and then they end up not even having a home."

Many speakers From all over East Texas, and some From beyond, were in attendance.

Several booths were set up offering services and information to veterans.

One such booth was the Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial from Jasper, any time there is a gathering of veterans they make a trip.

"We want to make certain that we meet them, we understand what their problems and issues are, if there's anything that falls within our guidelines of the programs that we offer we like to try to connect with them," said Roy James, President of Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial. "Then also just continue to stay educated and up to date with what other agencies are doing so that we can be a part of that."

The key note speaker was congressman Louie Gohmert.

"Once they come to things like this we know that this is a priority and it's an issue," said James. "Their time is precious so for them to be here and choose to be here only means that they are more focused on making certain that veterans are taken care of."

"It's an honor when I get to fight for people that fought for us and this also gives me an opportunity to let people know 'look, we're here for you too,'" said Gohmert. "So in addition to all these other veteran services your congressman is a servant to help you as well."

Another speaker at the event was Christina Valenzuela a Veteran Peer Specialist from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

Her specialty is homeless veterans and she helps veterans get back on their feet after returning from service.

"They are our nation's treasure and we want to make sure that they endure the same success as a civilian that they did in our military," said Valenzuela.

One problem Valenzuela faces is stubbornness from veterans.

"Vets, they don't like to tell you when they're hurt, we don't like to tell you when something's wrong we like to think that we can do it ourselves," she said. "We were part of a team in the military but we've got to be part of a team here."

Detcog says the support was overwhelming and hopes this will become and annual event.


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