Care for service members
Access to affordable housing, quality education, healthcare and employment are all contributing factors to our overall quality of life and wellness. San Antonio needs to work with the military to ensure that service members, their families and veterans all have access to these opportunities and amenities outside of the military installations. The city’s military installations, service members, veterans and their families require a wide range of support and advocacy on multiple levels and from a broad range of organizations.
With approximately 84,405 retired and 211,299 military veterans in the San Antonio vicinity, long-range planning for provision of services to this aging population is vital. We must continue to solicit and respond to veterans’ concerns and work towards remedying them. The City should initiate a study that addresses how the local healthcare community can help mitigate shortfalls in Veteran Affairs (VA) care.
The Commission on Veterans’ Affairs is an important part of this work. Its mission is to serve the City Council in an advisory capacity on legislative issues affecting the city's military population, both active and retired. The Commission serves as the community's liaison and advocates for veterans' affairs; advises the City Council on issues affecting San Antonio veterans and their families; and makes recommendations for improving services. This Commission, as well as other commissions and nonprofit organizations, help bridge the gap between the military, the City and other jurisdictions in the region. They create a venue for developing solutions that are mutually beneficial for both parties and we should support their efforts.
We should also encourage and support educational and job training programs that help veterans transition from military to civilian life. Job training and education courses should also be available for spouses who wish to learn trades outside of the home or off the base.
As compatible development surrounding bases is identified and prescribed, San Antonio should work with the military to attract developers who specialize in creating affordable, community-focused housing. As with development in all parts of our city, access to transportation, green spaces, parks, trails and proximate healthcare are all factors that should be considered.