Denton County Group Helping Veterans One at a Time

Having served in the U.S. Marines and as the wife of someone who was in the U.S. Army, Kasey
Brown and Becca Hobby are the perfect people to help veterans and their families with specific
As peer service coordinators for the Denton County Military Veteran Peer Network, they lead an
organization of volunteers under the auspices of the Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas
Department of Health and Human Services. MVPN is a statewide program that specializes in
helping veterans and their families transition more smoothly into civilian life. It focuses on
collaborating with people individually including connecting them to other veterans and
appropriate community resources.
“I think the thing that sets us apart is we specialize in peer support. Our foundation is at the same
level as what that veteran is,” Brown said. “We don’t have clients. We have peers and those peers
can be with us for years and years. We have veterans who come back here because we’ve
become that network for them. We can speak to them in a language they understand.”
Around for about a dozen years, Denton County MVPN has been based at Veterans Point on the
grounds of the Victory Therapy Center north of Roanoke since 2018. Looking for some way to
help veterans, Victory Therapy Center donated a former storage facility turned into a building for
MVPN. Originally called the Chris Kyle Veterans Center, the name was rebranded in 2019 to
better reflect its inclusiveness.
“We have a network of relationships we’ve built to help them,” Hobby said. “It’s not just the
veteran but can be their spouses or their dad.”
The facility features a large community area, art room, weight room, computer lab, reading
room, and private space to meet with professional counselors.
Besides providing a safe and confidential place to talk about issues with mental health clinicians,
the organization hosts outings like golfing, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and strawberry picking
aimed at helping people before issues arise. There are also quarterly events including Cinco De
Mayo, Back to School Bash, Thanksgiving meals, and Breakfast with Santa to raise awareness of
the organization.
Brown said there’s been a generational paradigm shift in how newer veterans want to address
their challenges.
“A lot of the veterans we’re seeing – the post 9/11, Iraq, and Afghanistan veterans – want to
spend more and more time as a family unit,” said Brown, who served from 2008-2013. “In the
past, a lot of veterans would say ‘I just need to get away from my family for a while. I just need
to go to the VFW, hang out, talk about whatever.’

“With our peer support model, we meet with the veteran or the spouse or service member and
help them through whatever issue they are facing on a peer level. That could be helping them
with disability benefits, employment, or going back to college.”
“When helping veterans secure employment, we work with the Texas Workforce Commission
and Texas Veterans Commission.” That could mean helping update resumes or finding
interview-appropriate clothing.
Brown estimates there are about 45,000 veterans in Denton County from as far back as World
War II and that MVPM officially connects 5,500-6,000 times annually with them. Besides
one-on-one aid, MVPM offers multiple peer support groups that can meet a few times or for
many months.
“We look at what the veteran community of Denton County needs,” Brown said. “That flexibility
is what makes us unique.”
With a small annual budget, MVPM relies heavily on donated time and materials, and volunteers
to put them to effective use and needs more. Anyone wanting to help veterans can join MVPM
and receive free Military Cultural Competency Training.
“People come to us with what they bring to the table to best serve the community,” said Hobby,
whose husband Ken served from 2007-2013. “If you’re passionate about helping veterans, come
sit with us.”

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