Hundreds flock to RGV Veterans Benefits Fair

The Annual Rio Grande Valley Benefits Fair for Veterans brought out hundreds to the McAllen Public Library.

Action 4 News was there Saturday afternoon and spoke to veterans who said events like these can be life-changing.

This year's free "come and go" event is being called a success by its organizers.

An estimated 600 people showed up to get information from federal, state, local, and even private sectors about benefits available to those who served our country.

"If you can dream of the benefits|any benefit that a veteran is eligible for, or a survivor, or their dependants eligible, or military members| particularly Texas benefits, which are better than any other state in the nation-they can get that information here," said Texas Veterans Land Board Deputy Commissioner Bill McLemore.

Vietnam Veteran Gonzalo Rios has served in the US military for nearly a decade.

He said, "there's a lack of information to the general population of veterans so it takes events like this to sort of focus on the specifics of qualifications, criteria that is needed to qualify for these loans."

He said being able to secure a loan with reasonable interest rates can make all the difference in quality of life.

"Event that will give us information on housing home improvement loans that being offered by the state of Texas for veterans and it TMs something that we need," said Rios.

He told us without it, he couldn't be able to afford repairs to his home.

McLemore said that's why he participates in these events.

He tells Action 4 News it TMs something near and dear to his heart.

"This is my chance to give back to those who I served with this is a ministry for me not just a job. It is a real opportunity to help my comrades and their dependants."

For more information on veteran benefits in our state call 1-800-252-8387 or visit