Special loans available to veterans affected by floods

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WIMBERLEY, Texas — Veterans affected by floods from Memorial Day weekend can now apply for unique zero and low-interest loans. The unique program is being run by the Texas Veterans Land Board (TVLB), in conjunction with Hays County Veteran Services.

Peter Vargas, who spent 20 years overseas in the US Air Force, and his wife Juanita, were forced from their home for over three months due to the aftermath of the floods.

“We walked in and it was like Mud City everywhere,” Juanita said.

Over a foot of water gushed inside their home, washing away Peter’s military photos, awards and commendations.

While the Vargas’ were fortunate enough to have insurance, it only covered damage inside their home. Damage to their roof, gutters and paints were not covered.

“Every time I hear rain falling on the roof, it’s kind of scary. Is it going to continue? Is it going to stop?” Peter asked.

That’s where the TVLB stepped in. The program offers veterans the chance to apply for loans up to $25,000 if they were affected by the floods and lived in a federally declared disaster area.

“I’m hoping with the [loan], we can re-do the house from the outside,” Peter said.

“It’s so important because our veterans deserve nothing but the best,” said San Marcos councilman Jude Prather, who also helps run Hays County Veteran Services. The Vargas’ credit Prather, a veteran himself, for helping set them up for the program.

“It was very scary to know that we had this disaster, and where was the money going to come from if we didn’t have the finances or the insurance to cover it,” Juanita said.

“That’s just comfort to me,” Peter said. The stress related from the floods hospitalized both Peter and Juanita.  Peter was quick to credit the VA for covering his hospital stays and for providing medical coverage after his discharge.

The Vargas’ were able to move back into their home earlier this month and hope to finish their repairs soon.

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