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Statewide network in place to help veterans in need

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Posted at 6:06 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 20:19:09-04

PORTLAND, Texas — Veterans helping veterans, it's one of the ideas behind Veterans in Focus, but there are other groups out there with the same mission.

One of those groups is the Military Veteran Peer Network. The network is run through the Texas Veterans Commission and links veterans in need with people who can help.

“I wanted to do something more meaningful,” said Timothy Dominguez.

Timothy Dominguez retired 20 years ago after 20 years in the U.S. Navy. These days he's helping Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines transition back to civilian life.

“They don't know where to go or what's available for them, that's where I come in,” said Dominguez.

For the last year, Dominguez is part of the Military Veteran Peer Network. From his office in the Coastal Plains Community Center, Dominguez helps veterans in San Patricio, Live Oak, Bee, and Aransas Counties.

“We advocate for them and connect them with resources,” said Dominguez. "Mental health assistance, food, financial assistance, unemployment.”

“Every day is different, there's something different that you get to do,” said Steven Llacuna.

Llacuna works closely with Domnguez, helping veterans in Kelberg, Brooks, Kenedy and Jim Wells Counties. While the job is rewarding he says it also comes with challenges.

“This job, you get to think outside the box, help people, and see the fruits of your labor on what you've done,” said Llacuna.

Funded by the Texas Veterans Commission, the peer network extends statewide. And as the list of veterans they've helped grows, so does their list of resources for veterans.

“I’ve got individuals I can call that are willing to help at no cost, get the veteran back up,” said Dominguez.

For these veterans, helping their own is the important thing.

“I feel better every day coming home from work, knowing that I've helped somebody, even if it's just the smallest thing,” said Dominguez.

The Military Veteran Peer Network has coordinators working every Texas county. Click here for a full list of contacts.