The Veterans Objective Initiative of Texas, or VOIOTX, is a local grassroots organization that was recently formed to advocate for the needs of Central Texas VA Region veterans. The primary objective of the VOIOTX is working to bring a VA Center and Clinic to Erath County.
“For many years, local veterans and concerned citizens have fought for a Veterans Clinic in Erath County and have met with stiff resistance from the VA itself, but the winds have finally shifted,"said Jonathan Weiss, president of the group.
“The VOIOTX has poured over census and VA data for Erath County and Stephenville, and has come to an astonishing conclusion: While the national average veteran population for a community our size is only three percent, Erath and Stephenville boast an amazing 17 percent Taking this new data – coupled with the increased overall population – Erath County and the City of Stephenville now have the foundation to put up a real fight."
The board of directors of VOIOTX – Jonathan Weiss, Robin Ritchie, Veronica Woodward, and Maggie Weiss – all have a vested interest in seeing this through to completion. Jonathan is a disabled Marine Corps Veteran, married to Maggie, Robin coordinates the VA shuttle for our local veterans, and Veronica is a volunteer with the local DAV.
“We are just below the cutoff line for the North Texas VA region so our vets have to go all the way to Brownwood, Temple or Waco for medical attention," Weiss said. "And it’s not always just one visit; sometimes there are multiple visits required so it’s both time consuming and expensive to go so far."
He continued, “The VOIOTX has already been to our state capitol in Austin and spoken with Texas Ag Commissioner and Erath County businessman Sid Miller, the offices of J.D. Sheffield and Roger Williams as well as many other of our elected officials, and the message is clear: The VOIOTX needs to not only show this new statistical data, but community support for a VA Clinic and Center. That is where the petition drive comes into play."
Weiss adds that this petition is currently circulating out in the community on websites, and on the counters of local businesses and organizations. It is also available for download on the website www.voiotx.org.
“Through the VA Clinic and Center initiative, peer-to-peer support groups, which are held Thursday nights, proactive community involvement and community education related to veterans and their rights, the VOIOTX fights daily for Erath County," Weiss said. "We only need people to step up beside us to see this through. Sign our petition, share the cause and lend a hand.”