“What are you going to do now Ranger?!”
If you ever went to Ranger School I’m sure you heard that question from the Ranger Instructor. It’s commonly asked when the instructor knows you have no idea what you’re doing, even though YOU think you know what you’re doing. That’s kind of how I feel as a new Veteran—I’ve been retired from the U.S. Army for just over a month now. I’m still in that phase where I reach for my “cover” hat when I get out of my vehicle. It’s just a quick second, but I still do it almost every morning as I head in to work.
As the Senior Deputy Director of the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB), I’m in a unique position in which, every day, I learn about a Veteran benefit that I never knew was out there. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the programs and services available to Veterans and military members, but since taking this position I have come to learn that my knowledge on this subject is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s out there at the Federal, State and County level. I’m pretty sure that my experience is about on par with all our Texas Veterans and military members out there.
So what are you going to do now Ranger?!
Well, the first thing I’ve asked our team to do is create The Dog Tag—a podcast for Veterans, by Veterans. The purpose of this podcast is to enlighten and empower our Veterans and military members with knowledge and information about all the different programs, benefits, services and resources that are offered throughout the state and beyond.
Each episode of the Dog Tag will introduce subject matter experts who can help cut through the bureaucracy, dispel any myths and provide a clear path to these benefits and programs. In addition to each podcast interview, we will provide podcast notes and links to help you navigate the procedures, policies and regulations, so you can access every program and service that you are eligible for.
We hope that by providing information via this new format, we can increase your awareness of the many resources available to you and your loved ones, and thereby improve your lives. One of the best things about these podcasts is that you will have a say in what you would like us to cover. We have many topics to address, including disability claims, education benefits, home and land loans, but we also want to hear from you, to make sure we’re answering all your questions.
There are nearly two million Veterans and military members in Texas, and as always, we’re working hard to reach every single one of you, but we need your help to spread the word about the Dog Tag too. So, please share this with all your fellow Texas Veterans, military members and their families.
As always thank you for your service. I am proud to serve those who have served.
COL(R) Matt Elledge