Providing services to veterans is an important part of what we do in Denton County.

For this year, our goals are to provide a permanent office in Precinct 1; see the completion of the VA Behavioral Health Facility next to the Denton County Veterans Center and to continue to build our reputation as a county in delivering unparalleled assistance. If these brave souls can face the unthinkable for all of our sakes, our commitment to excellent customer service should be limitless and profound.

This issue is close to my heart with several generations having served in the military including my father, a brother, four uncles and two cousins.

Their selfless commitment to serve is what led me to create the Veterans Memorial of Denton County more than a decade ago. The memorial, which is located just outside our door at 1029 W. Rosemeade Parkway in Carrollton, stands as a daily reminder of just how much was given and how much is owed to the men and women who have served.

General Douglas MacArthur, a five-star general who served during World War II, says it best: “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

In the time I have served as Precinct 2 Commissioner, we have increased our ability to assist veterans in multiple ways along with the help of federal, state and municipal governments as well as nonprofit organizations.

And we continue to do so.

With more than 45,000 veterans who reside within our county, the simple fact is that we owe them for their dedicated service to our country.

In October of last year, we added two new Veteran Community Navigators who work in the Denton County Veterans Center. Since then, they have assisted 67 individuals, 45 of whom received behavioral health care and assistance.

Through collaborative partnerships and fundraising by the Veterans Coalition, we provided $26,455 to assist veterans and their families with emergency financial assistance last year. We also reached out to our veterans through 54 community events to continue to get the word out about the services we can and will provide.

A total of 5,375 veterans were seen in the Veterans Service Office, which also took 24,765 phone calls. An estimated $274 million in expenditures for fiscal year 2017 were provided to Denton County veterans by the Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation, pension and education.

A total of 4,032 claims were filed on behalf of Denton County veterans to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Two permanent offices opened last year at satellite county locations in Precinct 2 and Precinct 4.

These men and women are our heroes. We owe them no less than what they have given us.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Ron Marchant, who has served as commissioner since 2007, is a lifelong resident of Carrollton where he served on the city council, worked as Precinct 6 Justice of the Peace and has been actively involved in a number of other civic organizations. He can be reached at (972) 434-7140 or at Ronald.Marchant@dentoncounty.com.