TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION
TEXAS VETERANS COMMISSION. A veterans' state service officer was authorized by the legislature in 1927, to be appointed by the adjutant general with the advice and consent of the governor and serve for two years, to aid war veterans in preparing claims against the United States or a state for compensation, hospitalization, insurance, or other benefits. Assistance was also given to the United States government in defeating unjust claims. In 1947 the office was expanded to an agency and was renamed the Veterans' Affairs Commission, which had five members appointed by the governor. The commission had fifty-eight employees in its central office in Austin, five regional offices, and ten hospital offices in 1956. By 1970 there were fourteen field offices, and the commission was assigned to keep statistics on veterans. At that time there were 1,304,000 veterans in Texas, and the number was increasing by 30,000 each year. In 1985 the office was renamed the Texas Veterans Commission and was headed by an executive director. The six members of the commission are appointed by the governor, with the concurrence of the Senate, to six-year overlapping terms. At least four members must be honorably discharged from the armed forces, one must be disabled, and three must have been enlisted men at the time of their separation from the service. The duties of the commission in the 1990s were to see that veterans or their dependents receive all benefits to which they are entitled, to train and certify county veteran service officers, to distribute material about veterans' benefits, and to provide assistance to other state agencies about services or resources for veterans. In 1990 the commission received appropriations of $1,957,652 and had eighty-two employees. The number of employees in 1994 was the same, but appropriations had increased to $2,640,927.