BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Brazos County has an estimated population of more than 8,000 veterans and one community leader has dedicated her life to giving them the quality of life they deserve.
Local Bryan resident, Joanetta Carter is the current Quartermaster for the VFW Post 4692. She grew up in a military family from her father, brother and sister all being veterans, and approaches things with a similar familial regard.
"They say family is everything and family extends almost to anyone," said Carter. "Just as people come into your life and family truly is everything, and the military was my family for 20 years so family is very important to me."
Post Vice Commander, John Velasquez, praised Carter for continuously going above and beyond.
"Committed, it's been a long time since I've seen anybody so committed to her position," said Velasquez. "She takes veterans real serious and she could just say let me pass this on to the commander, no she’ll actually start sending texts out hey we got somebody here when can we get started.”
After being in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years, Carter understands how hard it can be to return to an ordinary life.
“My counsellor says I'm handling it well, but its always tough. That’s why quality of life is so important to me and for me to try to extend that to my brothers and sisters in arms is so incredibly important to me because so many didn’t come back and then so many came back but they came back with missing parts.” said Carter.
She has applied that empathy to her local community, from hosting women’s luncheons to organizing warming centers for those in need.
“She spends countless hours here, more than beyond the call of duty," said Velasquez. "If there were eight days a week she'd be here eight days a week and hours I bet she spends fifteen hours a day here.”
Truly, no one does more for our veterans.
“We are here to render aid in our relief efforts and just like with the warming centers we’re here to render aid, and to see that their quality of life is improved in some small way because of what we can contribute is rewarding to me,” said Carter.