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 from the Commission | 85th Legislalture | Texas HHS Grants


Funk to Take Over as III Corps and Fort Hood Commander
By David A. Bryant -- Fort Hood Herald

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: FORT HOOD, Texas – A familiar name has been assigned to be the next III Corps and Fort Hood commander

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II is a Fort Hood native and the son of retired Lt. Gen. Paul “Butch” Funk, who led III Corps and Fort Hood in the mid-1990s.

The Army announced recently that Funk will soon be promoted to lieutenant general and will replace Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, who took command of III Corps and Fort Hood on Aug. 8, 2014.

Funk currently serves in the Pentagon as assistant deputy chief of staff for the Army.

He has a long history with Fort Hood, including being born on post in the 1960s and getting married at Fort Hood.

According to the elder Funk, his son’s first assignment in the Army was also at Fort Hood with 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He returned to the “Ironhorse” brigade later as a lieutenant colonel and commanded 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and eventually took over “Ironhorse 6” as a colonel.

About eight years ago, the younger Funk served as III Corps chief of staff. From there, he served as deputy commander and then commander of the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan. 

His wife is Beth Funk, who was an assistant principal at Meadows Elementary School the last time the couple was stationed at Fort Hood.

The elder Funk currently lives in the Gatesville area and could not be more excited to see his son take over his former command.

“We feel great about it. We’re really proud and happy for them and for the (III) Corps — Paul is a terrific soldier,” the retired lieutenant general said. “And we get to see more of our grandchild and our great-grandchild.”

Funk said his son is a phenomenal leader who not only loves his soldiers, but one whose soldiers love and respect him for his fair-minded approach to leadership.

“At this stage of his life, I think he’s a better soldier than his father ever was,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of him, and I would be extremely proud to see him continue on to his fourth star later in his career.” 

The elder Funk said he didn’t know if there had ever been a father and son command the same Corps in the Army’s history, but he said it will be the first time in III Corps’ history.

“He’s excited to be coming back to Fort Hood,” he said of his son.

The younger Funk, a veteran combat commander, has served several times in the Middle East, with his first deployment as a company commander during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He returned to the Middle East when he served as the 1st Cavalry Division operations officer at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom and returned to Iraq as the First Team’s 1st Brigade Combat Team commander. He later returned as the deputy commander of 1st Infantry Division, followed by a deployment as the Big Red One commander during Operation Inherent Resolve. 

Congressman Roger Williams, R-Austin, whose district covers a portion of Fort Hood said the younger Funk is a great fit for Fort Hood.

“I welcome Maj. Gen. Paul Funk’s return to Killeen when he becomes commander of The Great Place, and I want to thank Lt. Gen. MacFarland for his service at Fort Hood,” Williams said. “I am confident General Funk’s strong leadership and experience will keep our sons and daughters in Central Texas in the best hands.”

The Army has not yet announced where MacFarland will be stationed next, and Fort Hood officials said a date for a change-of-command ceremony has not been scheduled yet.


Tribute to Vietnam War from the Texas Veterans Commission

As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we pay tribute to the more than three million servicemen and women who served their country with honor and dedication during the conflict.

Through more than a decade of combat, this generation of Americans performed their military duties with the utmost valor and professionalism, upholding the highest traditions of our armed forces.

In 1967 – 50 years ago this year – the number of U.S. service members in South Vietnam rose to 500,000 with American troops winning every major battle they fought.  However, it would not be until 1973 – six years later – that the last American forces would leave South Vietnam.

As a grateful nation, we honor the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who suffered as Prisoners of War, and those service members still missing in action.

This year, please join the Texas Veterans Commission as a Vietnam War Commemoration partner to remember and thank the service, valor, and sacrifice of all Vietnam Veterans and their families.

Since our founding in 1927, through 1967, and today in 2017, the continued mission of the Texas Veterans Commission has been to advocate for and provide superior service to veterans that will significantly improve the quality of life for all Texas veterans, their families, and survivors.

Thomas Palladino, Executive Director


Texas 85th Legislature Began January 10

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The 85th legislative session convened on January 10, 2017. Part of the role Texas AGIF Legislative Committee in Austin is to monitor legislation that may impact veterans across the state. During the legislative session we serve as advocates for Veterans Services, Education and Housing issues as well as serving as a resource to legislators and their staff.

The Amerian GI Forum of Texas, Inc. (AGIF) Legislative Committee is present at the State Capitol to provide expert testimony at hearings on bills that effect our community in a number of legislative committees throughout the process. Of special interest to us will be Tax Reform as it applies to property values and another is Tax Credits for Veteran Specific projects.   

We feel it is important for all Texans to be part of the legislative process. As the 85th session moves forward, we encourage you to stay informed of veterans issues and other issues that may impact you and your family. Our Committee members in are: Paul Herrera, Chair, Ceasar Ruiz, Armando Longoria (Austin Commander) Jim Cardle, Robert Flores and Gil Rodriguez. We also welcome other AGIF members from throughout the State that may want to visit Austin to support certain Bills. These Committee members will often be seen at the capitol representing you and your interest.

If you are interested in learning more about proposed legislation affecting veterans, check out the bottom left corner on our AGIFTX website that has a link to the TVC website or just click below:    

http://www.tvc.texas.gov/85th-Legislature.aspx


Texas to Provide Grants for Veterans Coping with Mental Health Issues

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Health and Human Services executive commissioner Charles Smith announced that Texas has approved up to $10 million in grants to help Texas veterans and their families manage mental health issues. Fourteen community groups across the state will receive the grants.

“We need to take care of veterans, who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms,” Smith said. “This grant program offers innovative ways to address the mental health needs of our veterans and their families. We must do whatever it takes to help these Texas heroes.”

The funds, awarded as part of HHSC’s Texas Veterans + Family Alliance grant program, help improve quality of life for Texas veterans and their families by increasing access to mental health treatment and services.

State Sen. Jane Nelson’s Senate Bill 55 established the program, which provides up to $20 million in state funds over the 2016-17 biennium to be matched with local and private funds by the grantees. This is the first of two anticipated rounds of up to $10 million in grants expected to be announced as part of the program. A $1 million state-funded pilot effort, with community match, began this summer in five locations in Texas.

“Our veterans deserve the very best, and I’m proud that Texas communities have responded to our call for local solutions to help our fighting men and women,” Nelson said. “These projects will help veterans struggling with mental health challenges and assist the families and loved ones of those veterans.”

The following organizations, projected to serve nearly 15,000 veterans and family members with grant-supported services, have been selected. Final contract amounts are being negotiated.

Heroes Night Out - proposing to serve Bastrop, Bell, Caldwell, Coryell, Hays, Lampasas, Travis and Williamson counties

Veterans Coalition of North Central Texas - proposing to serve Bell, Collin, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervall, Tarrant and Wise counties

Equest - proposing to serve Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rockwall, Tarrant and Van Zandt counties

Heart of Texas Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center - proposing to serve Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan counties

Catholic Charities of Fort Worth - proposing to serve Archer, Baylor, Dallas, Denton, Foard, Hood, Johnson, Knox, Montague, Parker, Tarrant and Wichita counties

Tropical Texas Behavioral Health - proposing to serve Hidalgo County

West Texas Counseling & Guidance - proposing to serve Coke, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Kimble, Mason, McCulloch, Menard, Reagan, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton and Tom Green counties

Easter Seals of Greater Houston - proposing to serve Bell, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Walker, Waller and Wharton counties

Texoma Community Center - proposing to serve Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties

Family Endeavors - proposing to serve Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, and Presidio counties

The Ecumenical Center - proposing to serve Bexar County

Headstrong Project - proposing to serve Harris County

StarCare Specialty Health System - proposing to serve Bailey, Borden, Castro, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Dickens, Dimmit, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Parmer, Swisher, Terry and Yoakum counties

Metrocare Services - proposing to serve Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Somervall, Tarrant and Wise counties

Veterans and family members seeking assistance and services should contact grantees in their areas.

For information visit MentalHealthTX.org. 

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