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Vet Fest

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For all of you music lovers, or those that just want to have fun, Vet Fest 2019 is going to be a music festival the whole family can enjoy. It takes place on June 8th starting at noon and ending at midnight at the Broken Trail Event Center at 7567 Seymour Highway. The event is hosted by the North Texas Veterans Relief Fund. There will be an opening ceremony involving one of the huge American flags that Patterson Auto Group is loaning the festival. There will be 10 bands playing with real life veterans sharing their stories between the bands.

“This is our first year for the event, and the NTVRF plans on making it an annual event. All proceeds will go to Base Camp Lindsey,” said Jimmy Force, one of the organizers of the festival and a member of the band Bull in the Woods. Base Camp Linsey is a tiny home community that is scheduled to be built on Windthorst Road.

“The Mission of Base Camp Lindsey is to treat each Veteran with compassion and respect, in gratitude for their service to our Nation. Our Vision is the elimination of Veteran Homelessness in the North Texas communities that we serve. For our veterans, we need long term solutions. Our vision of this solution is a Tiny Home Village for the veterans that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Base Camp Lindsey would provide a safe roof over their head as we work to find them a more permanent housing solution and ensure that their needs—whether financial, medical, or occupational—will be met in the long term. Base Camp Lindsey will include a food pantry, community center, gardens and 65 individual housing units. The community center will be the location of all offices and a variety of services to include access to computers for training and job search, support groups, chapel, and learning opportunities There will be a community garden to assist with food supply and what we call ‘dirt therapy’. Veterans will be able to participate in the growing and harvesting of their food, this helps them learn new skills and stay busy, as well as giving them a measure of dignity as they work to provide for themselves and the other veterans,” said Chris De La Garza. Chris is the Board Vice Chair and Fundraising Committee Chair of the NTVRF.

“Each home will be 12 x 20 feet in size. They will include an efficiency kitchen, a bathroom with shower, and a stacking washer and dryer. Each home will be equipped with a solar panel system for electrical power and a ductless heating and cooling system. The homes will be furnished with basic necessities such as a bed, couch and clothes storage. The goal is for the Village to be as self-sustaining as possible with a minimum of operating costs. The majority of the homes will be transitional housing as the vets are helped to get on their feet and capable of once again functioning independently. We know that there will always be some who will never be capable of moving into more traditional housing so there will be some houses designated as permanent for the lifetime of that vet.”

“It is a little community to get a place to stay and get some help. If there is any drug dependency or alcoholism or psychological issues, there will be counseling on site at the community center. This is a way for them to seek help, learn a trade, or go back to school. It’s a great project,” Jimmy explained.

Jimmy’s wife Connie is also an organizer of the event. “Connie and other volunteers have worked tirelessly to get food trucks, vendors and sponsors for Vet Fest 2019, and everything needed to get this going,” Jimmy explained. “The problem with Base Camp Lindsey is that it is so expensive to get it started because of the infrastructure, and we have to show community support and raise a certain amount of money to get government grants or anything to get it going and keep it going.”

The bands that will play after the opening ceremonies at the festival includes James Nelms who plays “relevant retro” music and is a solo act. “I caught a couple of his videos on Facebook and YouTube and he does a wonderful solo version of the Allman Brothers’ song, ‘Melissa.’ The next band will be Bull in the Woods, which is the band I am in. I have been a musician all my life. I picked up a guitar when I was 8 and haven’t put it down,” Jimmy said with a smile. “We are a blues band and play covers by Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton, and we have a few originals. Covers are the songs we hear on the radio.”

“Next band up will be Hunter-Romero, who play original country songs. They are really good I like Kim’s voice. Rusty Dillard is usually a solo act, but he and his daughter will also perform original country music for us. CJ Cody is up next. He plays Texas country music. He is a solo act and he is climbing the charts for some of his original music. He is definitely a contender,” Jimmy shared.

“Clint Vines and the Hard Times have a unique sound—a Red Dirt sound, and I like what they play. Deep In It will be the next band. They were voted 2018 Texoma’s Best Live Music. Lee Ewell is donating his sound system for the event and Kenny Gregory from the Iron Horse Pub is coming out to do the sound for us,” he said. The Mullet Boyz will be the headliner and they will be playing mullet era music. At midnight there will be a closing ceremony.

“The call for bands was overwhelming. I had no idea so many musical groups in the area were willing to donate their time to this cause. I think we can all agree our vets deserve more for their service than just a thank you. This event will help raise much needed funds to help build the Base Camp Lindsey tiny home community. We would like to raise $10,000 at this event. I want to thank all bands who sent their request to be a part of this first annual event. Although I couldn’t fit everybody in, I think I have put together a well-rounded selection of entertainment to please almost everybody. A big thank you to all who are performing and who are devoting their time and energy to make this happen,” Chris said passionately.

But this isn’t just for adults. There will be children’s games, vendors, food trucks, beer and wine vendors and great music to keep everyone in the family happy. Some of the food trucks that will be serving up delicious goodies are Cool Arrows Tacos 2 Die For, Tikiz Shaved Ice, Mac Daddy’s Grill and Red River Roadhouse. Vendors will be from Paparazzi, Gigi’s Closet along with some local artists and craftsmen to name a few.

The main sponsors are Postel Credit Union, Bar S Lawton Plant, Best Western and the Results Company. Tickets can be purchased at Postel Credit Union between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. They can be purchased 24/7 at the NTVRF.com under the events tag. They can also be purchased at Eventbrite online. Ticket costs are $20 per person or $35 for two people.

If you would like to donate to this cause, the NTVRF has a GoFundMe page on their Facebook page and a PayPal link on their website. They also have an account at Union Square Federal Credit Union that will accept donations also.

“We need to give our veterans more than what they are getting now,” Jimmy stressed, “They have been through some hard times. This is a good cause, and we need to be able to help our veterans.”