The Texas HEARTS Veterans Museum is not just a Museum, it is a place where Veterans can go to get help. Tara Burnett is the Administrative Assistant who runs the daily operations at the HEARTS Museum. Burnett often fields questions and calls for help from local Veterans who came to visit the Museum. That is why Burnett reached out to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) local chapter for help.
“It started because we had people come to the Museum that needed help getting their DD 214s, their medical records, help with the VA, disability plates, and they didn’t know what to do” said Burnett, “Our goal here is to honor our veterans and part of the way we do that is to help them any way we can, so having DAV here has been extremely beneficial to everyone.”
Navigating the transition from military service to civilian life is not always easy, and Disabled American Veterans is an organization that believes no veteran should have to go at it alone. DAV provides support for all veterans and their families in positive, life-changing ways.
When representatives from Disabled American Veterans Representatives started coming to the Texas Hearts Museum they came once a month, but as more veterans and their family members learned about the program, DAV started coming twice a month. Now DAV representatives come every week, on Tuesdays from 10:00-1:00.
According to Burnett, the reason the program has expanded is because there are nearly 8,000 veterans in Walker County and almost 1,000 veterans attending clases at Sam Houston State University on the G.I. Bill, and both veteran populations are growing steadily.
DAV works to ensure that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits they deserve, provide care and support during tough times, advocates for the veteran community on Capitol Hill, and connects veterans with meaningful employment.
“All the other outreach programs are through people who have been to the museum and talked to us about their programs, or are people that have experienced those programs” explained Burnett.
Lisa Hackett is a board member and volunteer at the Texas Hearts Museum. “Lisa came up with an amazing idea to do a breakfast for veterans first Saturday of every month” said Burnett, “She brings a laptop so if they need help accessing their medical records and things like that, she helps them. Last month was our first time to do it and we had over 40 veterans here. We hope that we flood out the museum and eventually we'll have to have it next door in the storm shelter.”
DAV helps more than 1 million veterans every year connect with the healthcare, disability, employment, education, and financial benefits they have earned and have submitted more than 11 million claims on behalf of veterans. They provide free, professional assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services earned through military service. If you need help, or know someone who needs help, contact the Hearts Museum or find your local DAV office.