Groundbreaking for the new Texas A&M campus in the Southside of San Antonio could start as early as the middle of next year. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents will look at development plans for the new campus this August.
Currently titled the Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center-San Antonio, the school will have to up enrollment from the current 1,021 students to 1,500 full-time students, or its equivalent, in order to officially become Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Dr. Maria Hernandez-Ferrier, executive director of Texas A&M University-Kingsville System Center-San Antonio, is currently organizing academic curriculum, site development, and student recruitment efforts for the campus.
This school is a needed addition to San Antonio's Southside. I believe that when young students pass by the building, and even the construction, which starts in 2009, the presence of an A&M University campus right in their backyards will foster the idea that a college degree is accessible. I hope it will prove to be an inspiration in plain sight.
Prospective students can apply at www.applytexas.org, and will have to enroll in a new student orientation class before attendance.
How America Repays Wartime Veterans
One benefit many wartime veterans qualify for, but might not know about, is a VA pension. If you are a wartime veteran, either able or disabled, with a limited income and are no longer able to work, you may qualify for a Veterans Disability Pension or the Veterans Pension for Veterans 65 or older. Many non-disabled wartime veterans are unaware of the fact that if they are living on a fixed income, and are no longer able to work, that they may be eligible for a VA pension.
An estimated two million impoverished veterans and their widows are not receiving the VA pension they deserve. To know that one person is not taking advantage of the money available to them is troubling, but to know that two million people are missing out is a tragedy. These are some of our country's bravest veterans and they deserve more. If you know a veteran who qualifies for this pension, please pass this information along to them. In this way we can return the favor to those who have served our country during its most difficult times.
To apply, fill out VA form 21-526, Veteran’s Application for Compensation of Pension. If available, attach copies of dependency records (marriage and children’s birth certificates) and current medical evidence (doctor and hospital reports). You can also apply online through the VONAPP website or you can call 1-800-827-1000.
I am proud to report that the 700,000 constituents of Senate District 19 are seeing great progress within the district. This amazing part of the state, which quietly boasts everything from the natural beauty of Big Bend National Park to historical Texas battlegrounds, can now brag about major economic and educational advances coming their way.
For one, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is becoming a reality. Students are already enrolling and receiving degrees from the Texas A&M University Kingsville System Center-San Antonio, and with the growing enrollment, this will become a full-fledged A&M University Branch drawing students from an estimated 14 county area and offering opportunities for education that are not easily accessible in this part of Texas today.
Down the street from the budding A&M campus is the Toyota Manufacturing Plant. Toyota has invested billions of dollars in Senate District 19 and has turned the spotlight on Texas workers and the high quality products they make.
Another billion dollar corporation making big moves in our district is Boeing, which continues to increase its presence at the former Kelly Air Force Base. The closing of Kelly Air Force Base was almost a detrimental blow to our district's economy. Instead, we have created a welcoming environment for Boeing to create 400 jobs in the area and a place to build their 787 Dreamliner jet. Boeing is also contributing to education through our community colleges to ensure that they can turn out the kind of workers the world needs in the new global marketplace.
Also at Kelly Field, a Federal Inspection Station is being constructed to support the growing international air cargo industry in San Antonio. The Port of San Antonio itself has been designated as a Foreign Trade Zone, linking our city's dynamic economy to marketplaces all over the globe. And the Port of San Antonio continues to attract more investors and businesses to our area with its East Kelly Railport project, situating the Port as an international logistics hub.
Our future is looking very bright thanks in part to the Defense Base Realignment And Closure Commission, or BRAC. BRAC will bring thousands more highly-trained military personnel to San Antonio, adding more than 11,000 service people to Ft. Sam Houston's 25,000 person workforce. Additionally, a $92 million dollar Battlefield Health and Trauma Center will make San Antonio the world leader in military medicine. BRAC's benefits will affect every aspect of our region's economy. It is one more reason I find it difficult to imagine a more exciting time for my district and the people who live in it.
Major players are pumping millions into the economy of our area, and helping to drive our jobless rates to record lows, strengthening locally-owned, small businesses, and contributing to bright and prosperous days ahead for District 19.
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©2008 Carlos Uresti Campaign • A.M. Hernandez, Treasurer • P.O. Box 240431 • San Antonio, Texas • 78224