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      Surviving spouses of disabled veterans get a financial boost in 2012

      It has been a difficult holiday season for Dora Villa. In November she lost the love of her life"her husband of 29 years Roberto.

      It TMs hard, Dora said.

      While the pain of losing Roberto is difficult to handle the thought of not being able to make it financially also weighs heavily on her mind.

      Roberto was a Vietnam veteran and was considered 100 percent disabled.

      Dora said because of his disability Roberto was exempted from paying property taxes in Texas.

      She said the exemption was a blessing.

      If we had to get a tire fixed or fix the truck or car the money was there, Dora explained.

      We didn TMt have to worry.

      When Roberto got sick, the couple feared Dora would have to start paying the property tax once again|money she does not have.

      I TMm retired and there isn TMt a lot of retirement money coming in, Dora said.

      We have funeral cost that are there---I just can TMt do it.

      Luckily for Dora and many other spouses of disabled veterans in Texas"a new law that took effect in 2012 will extend that exemption to the spouse of the disabled veteran after his or her death.

      For Dora it is a move that will be a tremendous help as she tries to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life.