PREMONT, Texas — In the small town of Premont, veterans can be isolated from many resources. Ricardo "Ric" Rubio said someone’s got to help them, hence the creation of the Premont Veterans Association.
A year ago, Rubio said he and and a few others came together to find a way to support the veterans around Premont.
“I’ve been here 11 years and always been trying to get a veterans organization going, because we have a lot of retired, and old, veterans here in our community and we never had an opportunity to bring them all together," he said.
What does the Premont Veterans Association do? Just about anything to help a veteran. If they need groceries, the PVA will take care of it. If a veteran needs a ride, someone from the group will drive you.
And the non-profit has taken it further, hosting a community Christmas meal, fundraising for the less fortunate and more.
“We just recently took a gentleman to the Audie L. Murphy hospital where he had to have surgery, but we were happy to assist him and get him there," Rubio said.
The group started with just four members, but has grown to over 20, inducting four new people the first weekend in November.
“The camaraderie is one of the biggest things," said Epifanio Vargas, one of the original members. "You really don’t realize, and I say this I’ve had family members — my uncles that have served in the military — and never knowing exactly what they went through."
The group has now started taking part in veterans' funerals to present the stars and stripes to the fallen’s family.
Rubio said this coincides with Premont being named a Purple Heart City.
“I think our community has really backed us up in many ways," said Vargas. "The financial status and when we have events, they come out in droves to try to help us do whatever it is that we’re doing for our fellow veterans."
For Rubio, it's important to him that public sees the group put their money where their mouth is.
“We believe that showing them is better than telling them," he said speaking about how the community has reacted to the PVA. "And letting them talk about us is important because they know that we’re having a positive impact and image on our community.”
The PVA has a car show Saturday in Premont.
Rubio said the non-profit is open for people to join, specifically looking for veterans or people related to veterans. To get in contact you can head to their Facebook page.