Eric Tillman

The American Red Cross, born out of Clara Barton’s spirit of compassion for wounded warriors on Civil War battlefields, has continued that tradition by making a series of donations to the Richard A. Anderson Texas State Veterans home in Houston.

Volunteers and staff from the Texas Gulf Coast Region organized donations of a wide variety of recreational items, including a television, video games, a basketball goal and gardening supplies, during September. What may seem to some as ordinary household items are, in reality, important tools in helping the Veterans Land Board fulfill its mission to serve the needs of Texas military veterans. By supporting the VLB’s mission, the Red Cross is remaining true to its charter to provide family communications and other forms of support to the U.S. military. This kind of support is especially relevant this year, as the Red Cross celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Clara Barton, on Christmas Day.

“The donations we have received from the Texas Gulf Coast Regional Red Cross have been instrumental in the quality of care and recreation for our residents of the Richard A. Anderson Texas State Veterans Home.” Says Eric Tillman, a U.S. Army veteran, and the on-site representative.

In addition to providing recreational opportunities for the residents of the Veterans Home, these donations have been used by facility’s therapy team to address the needs of individual residents. These included a pool table, shuffleboard and air hockey tables for each wing of the home, as well as physical therapy equipment. One of the more popular donations was a garden bed that was converted into an herbal farm.

“After using the garden bed to plant jalapenos, the Therapy team bacon wrapped jalapenos as the veterans put them on the grill,” said Tillman. “We learned at that time that one of the veterans and their spouse, who recently celebrated 60 years of marriage, used to own a catering business. The veteran served as a culinary specialist in Vietnam.”

The Texas Veterans Land Board was created in 1947 to administer benefits exclusively for Texas veterans. Since then, the VLB continues to expand the programs and services available to Texas veterans, military members, and their families. The VLB offers land, home, and home improvement loans; nine long-term care homes; four Texas State Veterans Cemeteries; the Voices of Veterans Oral History Program and the VLB Call Center

“Along with these fun activities and games donated by the Red Cross, these donations encourage socialization in an environment where COVID has led to a lot of isolation, said Tillman.  “Peer to peer support is vital.”

Persons interested in supporting the VLB’s are encouraged to visit the organization’s website: