Texanthropy Spotlight: Tony Smith – 2017 Governor’s Volunteer Award Winner
Another week, another 2017 GVA winner! Today’s Texanthropy Spotlight is Tony Smith, the Service to Veteran’s Award winner. This award recognizes an individual or organization that focuses on providing needed programs or services to meet the needs of military-connected families or individuals.
Retired Veteran Tony Smith has turned his service to country into a more-than-full-time, unpaid second career as a county-appointed Veterans Service Officer in Coryell County...one of only two in a county that has one of the largest populations of disabled veterans. Two years ago, Tony found free office space and began reviewing a backlog of veteran’s cases where assistance had been requested but not acted upon. The backlog was extensive, but Tony devoted himself almost full time to work through each veteran’s issue.
Tony is a trained small group facilitator through “Bring Everyone in the Zone”, based in Killeen. Within less than two years, he helped grow his peer-to-peer veteran groups from one poorly-attended group, to three in Copperas Cove and one in Gatesville. These groups provide a safe, confidential atmosphere for veterans and active duty personnel to gather.
In addition to the peer-to-peer groups, Tony serves as the commander of the local Disabled American Veterans Chapter 74 in Gatesville. He assists a steady stream of veterans in navigating the sometimes-challenging waters of accessing the VA system. Tony collaborates with groups like the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen, which provides meals on weekdays to those in need, and Operation Stand Down Central Texas, which holds two Stand Downs a year for homeless veterans.
Tony has provided for the veterans in his area in other ways as well, including offering counseling and support, securing medical equipment donations, and arranging funeral logistics…just to name a few!
Tony Smith is a compassionate and willing volunteer who persists in providing support for veterans in his community. His tireless dedication to serve veterans will be a lasting catalyst for good.