Nacogdoches Hero Foundation aims to help veterans, first responders

Nacogdoches Hero Foundation aims to help veterans, first responders
Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 7:14 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A new non-profit organization in Nacogdoches hopes to lend a helping hand to their first responders and veterans.

“It’s to take care of our neighbors and our families who serve,” said business owner Jason Bradford.

According to Bradford, what started as an act of appreciation seven years ago became a much larger idea. “We started a veterans and first responders appreciation day, which we do right out here in front of the shop.”

The crowd has grown bigger every year since then. “We got a lot of response from people within the community on how much they appreciate it and how much they’ve enjoyed being here and coming to it,” he said.

Bradford created a committee in which he serves as president to start the Nacogdoches Hero Foundation this year.

They saw a need for financial aid to assist veterans and first responders in the area, especially in cases where someone is injured or killed on the job.

“Do veterans and first responders have benefits? Yes, but a lot of those don’t kick in until later on, and it takes a while for them to kick in if something does happen,” explained Bradford.

Bradford said they will select nominated people from each county and city emergency department.

“Our hope is, we’re not going to see folks fall into cracks,” said Nacogdoches County Veterans Officer James Hogg.

There are 3,776 veterans in the county receiving benefits, according to Hogg. “All those veteran organizations are always ready to step up to try to give us a hand, but invariably, there’s going to be some gaps,” said Hogg.

The Veterans Service Office works on three to four cases daily, including ten homeless cases in the last few years. “Believe it or not, oftentimes, the surviving spouses and family members that whenever a veteran passes away, they’re left with some financial difficulties,” said Hogg.

Bradford said they have had overwhelming support from the community since starting the foundation. “It’s not a testament of us. It’s more a testament of our community in my opinion, because without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing.”

To donate to the Nacogdoches Hero Foundation, click here.