and Military Installation 
                               Tuesday, May 23, 2000 
                                     2:00 p.m. 
                                 Fort Bliss, Texas 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on VETERAN  
         AFFAIRS  and MILITARY INSTALLATIONS was held on Tuesday, May 23,  
         2000, at Fort Bliss, Texas 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Eliot Shapleigh                 Senator Carlos Truan 
                                                 Senator Troy Fraser 
                                                 Senator Steve Ogden 
                                                 Senator Leticia Van de  
         After standing in recess from the previous meeting, Senator  
         Eliot Shapleigh, the acting chair, called the meeting to order  
         at 2:03 p.m.  The following business was transacted: 
         Senator Shapleigh introduced Mr. Leo Barraza of El Paso, Texas,  
         the newest appointee to the Texas Veterans Commission.  Senator  
         Shapleigh next introduced Mr. Charles de Wetter of El Paso, a  
         civilian aid to the Secretary of the Army. 
         The invocation was given by the U. S. Army Chaplain at Fort  
         The Chairman next introduced Colonel Joseph Rodrigues,  
         Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and presented him with a  
         certificate and a Texas flag that had been flown over the Texas  
         The Chairman called the Honorable Dolores Briones, County Judge,  
         who welcomed the committee to El Paso and spoke on the need for  
         veteran homes in El Paso. 
         Colonel Barry E. Cardwell, Chief of Staff, Fort Bliss, welcomed  
         the committee to Ft. Bliss. 
         Mr. Charles De Wetter testifying on the Ft. Bliss/El Paso  
         The Chair called Mr. James Christoferson, director of the Office  
         of Defense Affairs who testified on the public/private  
         partnership between the bases and the local communities. 
         Senator Shapleigh called Brigadier General Michael Smith,  
         Assistant Adjutant General, Air Guard, to testify. 
         The Chair called Mr. John Sneed, Director of intergovernmental  
         Relations for the Texas General Land Office who testified on  
         veteran nursing homes and home loans. 
         Mr. Gilbert Estrada testified on the VFW and special needs of  
         the aging veteran population. 
         Mr. Carlos Rivera, Director of the Department of Veteran Affairs  
         El Paso Center, testified on employment services for veterans  
         and questioned if the 40% veteran employment still stand for  
         Texas agencies. Mr. James Nier, Executive Director of the Texas  
         Veterans Commission responded that the only agency currently  
         meeting the guidelines is the Texas Veterans Commission. 
         The Chair recognized Mr. Manuel Rivas, chairman of the El Paso  
         Veterans Nursing Home Committee who testified on the needs at  
         the El Paso region for a veterans nursing home. 
         Mr. Daniel Cedillo, Chairman of the American G.I. Forum of  
         Greater El Paso testified on the needs of veterans in the El  
         Paso area. 
         Mr. Oscar Barreda, Sr. testified on the need for help for  
         providing veterans with full military honors at burial  
         Mr. Arturo Herrera testified on need for help in obtaining  
         disability with a service connected disability.   
         There being no further business  the committee was recessed  
         until further call of the chair. 
         Senator Eliot Shapleigh, Chair 
         Witnesses in order of testimony: 
         The Honorable Dolores Briones 
         County Judge 
         County Courthouse 
         500 East San Antonio 
         El Paso, TX  79901 
         (915) 546-2000 
         Col. Barry E. Cardwell 
         Chief of Staff 
         2 Sheridan Rd. 
         Ft. Bliss, Texas 79916 
         Mr. Charles de Wetter 
         5662 N. Mesa 
         El Paso, TX  79912 
         Mr. James Chirstoferson, Director 
         Office of Defense Affairs 
         1700 N. Congress Avenue 
         Austin, TX  78711 
         Brig. Gen. Michael B. Smith 
         Assistant Adjutant General of Texas 
         2210 W. 35th Street 
         Camp Mabry 
         Austin, TX  78701 
         Mr. John Sneed 
         Director, Intergovernmental Relations 
         Texas General Land Office 
         1700 N. Congress Avenue 
         Austin, TX  78711 
         Mr. Gilbert G. Estrada 
         Post Commander, VFW Coronado Post 10326 
         4760 Doniphan 
         El Paso, TX  79922 
         Mr. Carlos Rivera, Director 
         Department of Veteran Affairs-El Paso Vet Center 
         6500 Boeing #L-122 
         El Paso, TX  79925 
         Mr. Manuel Rivas, Chairman 
         El Paso Veterans Nursing Home Committee 
         3405 Kirkwall Road 
         El Paso, TX 
         Mr. Daniel Cedillos, Chairman 
         American G.I. Forum of Greater El Paso 
         P. O. Box 97155 
         El Paso, TX  75999 
         Mr. Oscar Barreda, Sr. 
         4301 Hueco 
         El Paso, TX