CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There's a new person in charge of the Nueces County Veterans Services Office. Commissioners have approved JJ De La Cerda for that position.
"He already has that fundamental respect with veterans around town, and I think he'll continue the same work that has been brought to this office," says Justin Carroll, Navy Veteran.
Cerda worked for the Coastal Bend State Cemetery for over 12 years, where one of his ideas to help veterans spread nationwide.
In 2015, Cerda started the Unaccompanied Veterans Notification Program for deceased veterans. It reaches out to people and invites them to attend veteran's funerals, who have no known family.
"We'd honor our veterans. Of course, there was no one there, when we started pushing the notification to the public, we got about 500 people to come out for someone they never knew," said Cerda.
Over the last four years, the program has been implemented for all VA funerals across the country.
Cerda says one of his goals in his new role is to gather veterans at places like Del Mar College, Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi, or the Corpus Christi VA clinic and ensure they know what benefits are out there for them.
"I like to reach out to every organization, all the resources and get them together and put on fairs and get the word out to veterans that there's help... there's help," said Cerda.
Cerda started in late November and said he is already looking at where and when to hold the first veterans fair in his new position.