AMARILLO — Veterans and those who support them celebrated five years of service in the Texas Panhandle.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, chairman of the Veterans Land Board, was the keynote speaker. As a state senator, Patterson passed SB 1060 15 years ago to create the Texas State Veterans Home Program. This program allows a unique mix of federal and state partnerships on behalf of Texas veterans. Under Pattersons law, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Land Board share the costs of constructing Texas State Veterans Homes. Like all Veterans Land Board programs, Texas State Veterans Homes are self-supporting and cost Texas taxpayers virtually nothing.

Texas State Veterans Homes are made possible through a unique partnership between the VLB and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Each home provides skilled long-term nursing care, comprehensive rehabilitation programs, special diets, recreational activities, social services, a library, and a certified, secured Alzheimers unit with its own secured outdoor courtyard.