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Friday, November 13, 2020   /   by Scott Shine

The USO Pathfinder program prepares soldiers for life after duty

The Shine Team is committed to hiring Veterans and this is the story of the Shine Team's own Stan Balcer as he transitioned out of the Army and into civilian employment:

USO Pathfinder program helps veteran live new dream
KCEN TV:  KCEN TV article link
Author: Bary Roy

HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas — Stan Balcer is living proof of the success of the USO Pathfinder Program. It helped him transition out of the United States Army after 30 years and 22 days of service.

"There are so many services out there that want to assist and help you transition that it's overwhelming," he said.

Balcer enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1988 as a Cavalry Scout, he witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War and also served in the Gulf with a plan to get out of the military and pursue a college degree. But, he didn't know what was next.

Balcer admitted that as his time drew to an end, his leadership talked to him about staying to continue the work of the military around ...

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020   /   by Scott Shine

Longtime Central Texas businessman served as a platoon leader in Vietnam

Killeen Daily Herald
KDHNews.com
John Clark Herald correspondent

Vietnam veteran Bill Shine says he learned a number of valuable life lessons during his time in the military, and some of those came when he was assigned as an aide to a legendary general who first came to fame in World War II.

“While I was at Fort Jackson (South Carolina), I got selected to be an aide to the commanding general, who was Lt. Gen. James Hollingsworth,” Shine, a longtime Harker Heights resident, said. “He was a graduate of Texas A&M, a famous World War II guy, and the third-highest decorated military officer in U.S. history.

“He was tough as nails, and I learned a lot. After I went to work for him, he said, ‘Bill, I’m not going to tell you what time to come to work, but don’t let me ever beat you here.’ So, at six o’clock every morning, I was sitting in that office.

“Sometimes it was pretty close, but I don’t think he eve ...

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Friday, October 23, 2020   /   by Scott Shine

Texas Homebuyers rush to take advantage of low mortgage rates

COLLEGE STATION (Real Estate Center) – Texas’ housing market rebounded in September as homebuyers rushed to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. Existing homes sold through Texas Multiple Listing Services increased 10.7 percent from August and are running 2.6 percent higher relative to the first three quarters of 2019.

"Many prospective homebuyers who were planning to purchase next year have been pulled into the market early as their affordability has suddenly improved," said Dr. James Gaines, chief economist for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "This pull factor contrasts the pent-up demand that drove the summer sales surge."

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales increased 9.4 percent across the country compared to August 2019. First-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of September sales, down from 33 percent in both August 2020 and September 2019.

Home-purchase mortgage applications have incr ...

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020   /   by Scott Shine

Fort Hood's Economic Impact Soars to 22% Increase

FORT HOOD — Fort Hood experienced an increase in economic activity in 2019, according to one study announced by Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday.

The results of a study completed by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts through the Texas Military Preparedness Commission show that the military contributed an estimated $123.6 billion to the Texas economy and supported more than 630,000 jobs in communities across the state.

The study is conducted every two years and represents an analysis of the economic impact of the population and employees directly affiliated with the military installations in Texas. This includes active duty, visiting and other military personnel, dependents, civilian employees and contractors directly affiliated with the base.

Of the latest study’s total, Fort Hood directly or indirectly contributed an estimated $29.8 billion to the state economy last year, an increase of 22% since the comptroller’s last report in 2018 which reflected 2017 ...

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020   /   by Scott Shine

New Initiative from the Veterans Land Board and Hiring Our Heroes to Help Veterans

Yesterday, Chairman of the VLB and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced that Next Gen Warrior, a show formed to promote the personal and professional growth of Veterans, is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) initiative to produce a three-part podcast series addressing critical issues in the military and Veterans community.

The conversations will cover military spouse entrepreneurship, wellness in the workplace, and service after service.

Through this partnership, Veterans will continue to be reminded of their impact on the community and their country beyond the battlefield, and those in the Armed Forces will learn about the valuable resources and benefits available to them to assist in their transition to civilian life.

“The impact our Veterans have on our communities lasts well after their service,” said Commissioner George P. Bush. “Military Members continue to serve as strong leaders thro ...

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