Community & Faith Based

The intent of the Community Faith-Based Program is to involve community and faith-based organizations in developing and implementing strategies to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families. In addition to training and technical assistance, this aim is accomplished through the implementation of the Faith & Allegiance Initiative.

Additionally, given the overlap between mental health needs and advanced risk for homelessness, VMHD is tasked with leading TVC’s Homeless Veteran Initiative which aims to reduce veteran homelessness in both urban and rural settings across Texas.

Listen to Retired Air Force Veteran John Wilson explain the Faith & Allegiance Initiative and the Did You Serve Campaign?

Military Veteran Peer Network is TVC Certified

TEXANS ASK: “Did you or a family member serve?”

A big impact military-veteran populations deal with when accessing services is not feeling understood by those serving them.


All Veterans get healthcare through the VA Healthcare system.


Not all who served in the military are eligible to do so, and some may not consider themselves veterans.

Some who served in the National Guard may not consider themselves veterans.

Some women may say “No” when asked if they are vetereans, but “Yes” when asked “Did you serve?


Service members are provided transition assistance before leaving the military which fully equips them for civilian life.


Transitioning out of the military into a new community means leaving your military culture and relationships behind and entering new communities, circles of friends and employment.

By asking “Have you or an immediate family member ever served in the military?” you begin building rapport and understanding, critical steps in providing the proper referrals and resources.

Ask the Question – Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder

Ask the Question Trifold 2023

Ask the Question – Federal/State/Local/Non-Profit

Ask the Question – Faith-Based Groups

Ask the Question – Health Care & Medical Service

Ask the Question – Housing & Homelessness Services

Ask the Question – Law Enforcement & 1st Responders

“Did You Serve?” How Asking Helps!

Employment and vocational services professionals can:

  • Identify transferable skills.
  • Connect Veterans to military-friendly employers.
  • Help access job training programs.

Faith-based professionals can:

  • Identify families in need of help during transitions out of the military.
  • Motivate communities to come together on behalf of those who serve.
  • Connect former service members & families to the supports and services they need.

Law enforcement professionals can:

  • Keep veterans and their families safe.
  • Build trust and rapport in difficult situations.
  • Partner with providers who help Veterans in crisis.

Healthcare and medical professionals can:

  • Build critical rapport with a reluctant patient.
  • Understand the relationship between military experiences and medical symptoms.
  • Provide effective referrals and resources.

Behavioral health professionals can:

  • Build critical rapport with a reluctant client.
  • Understand the relationship between military experiences and medical symptoms.
  • Help former service members & family understand the emotional effects of transitions out of the military.

Faith and Allegiance Initiative

Military Veteran Peer Network is TVC Certified

Just as those who served in uniform swore to bear true Faith and Allegiance to our Nation, the Faith and Allegiance Initiative encourages community and faith-based partners to bear true faith and allegiance by offering their hand in support.

Mr. Wilson, the Community and Faith-Based Program Manager for the Texas Veterans Commission’s (TVC’s) Veterans Mental Health Department (VMHD), founded the Faith Allegiance Initiative. He notes that the more positive the transition to civilian life the better the behavioral health outcome. The common factors to a successful transition are finding social connectivity, a sense of community and new mission or calling which helps build resiliency.

The Faith Allegiance Initiative is now woven into the fabric of the Texas Veterans Commission’s Veterans Mental Health Department, is also part of the Austin Mayor’s Challenge to prevent suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families (SMVF) and the state’s Long-term Veterans Suicide Prevention Plan.

The Faith and Allegiance Initiative state-wide implementation began with VMHD taking the lead whereby:

1.VMHD will provide training   on  the impacts of trauma  while in the military.

2. TVC-certified Peer Services Coordinators of the Military Veteran Peer Network (MVPN) will provide Peer-to-Peer support and engagement through training and linkage to their Volunteer Peers, creating a statewide network of Veteran peer support.

3. Communities of faith are encouraged to appoint Veterans Champions from within congregations to  serve as resource focal points for SMVF, promote classes on military culture, etc. through TVC’s Veterans Mental Health Department and the MVPN.

Leaders of both rural and metropolitan areas, faith leaders, community partners are encourange to begin a dialogue to establish local Faith and Allegiance Initiative programs with their areas.


At each point where current and former service members and their immediate families seek services, whether for employment, education, physical health, behavioral health or others, they will be asked “Did You Serve?”

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