A Shared Commitment to America’s Warriors
As an organization whose mission is to improve the lives of our nation’s Warriors, ties to others who do the same is essential. Port San Antonio has made it their mission to bring in companies and job opportunities that have a direct positive impact on current and former U.S. Military service members in our community. These are the companies that do their utmost to seek out and employ them. I had the pleasure of speaking to Port San Antonio’s President and CEO, Jim Perschbach. Mr. Perschbach is a seasoned lawyer, a world traveler, and a North Carolina native. His experience within the aviation and defense industry made him a perfect fit for the job.
History of The Port
Port San Antonio has a rich and deeply entrenched military history. It was the landing place for the world’s first-ever military flight and home to ‘Kelly Air Force Base’ from 1917-2001. In 1995, when the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) committee made the difficult decision to close the base down—a process that would take six years—, the 1,900-acre property was repurposed as a development authority. This seamless transition ensured that many of San Antonio’s civilian workforce, including many Veterans working in aircraft maintenance, engineering, and an array of support capacities, were able to keep their jobs. It also allowed aviation to continue to develop and grow as a vital industry with the community. Our Paws for Purple Hearts San Antonio staff and service dogs in training now call the Port home.
A Cornerstone to Our Veterans
Inextricably intertwined with the military community, the Port and its tenants take pride in having a strong former military workforce. When asked why supporting them was so important, Mr. Perschbach says, “The Veterans of this community are really what built San Antonio.” In truth, San Antonio wouldn’t be what it now is without those who gave in service. They have enriched our region and given us a moniker we are proud to carry; ‘Military City USA.’ As one of the foremost charities that help our nation’s brave Warriors, Paws for Purple Hearts could not have asked for a better place to establish roots in this fantastic city.
Serving a Community
While the organization is a development company, Port San Antonio is not charged with returning investments to a trust. Their goal instead is economic and community development. This allows them to focus their energy on returning opportunities to San Antonio’s residents. Since 2015 employers on the Port campus have added 4,600 new jobs. The Port has also spearheaded efforts that create educational opportunities for both the existing workforce and future generations and connect buyers and sellers in the global market. They are now preparing to open a brand-new technology center. This center for innovation will focus on showcasing new inventions and feature a technology arena. It will also offer professional demonstrations, speakers, and events, and host e-gaming, e-sports, and robotic competitions, among many other exciting things. They do all this while undertaking the critical job of supporting charities that help Veterans.
Partners in Service
Paws for Purple Hearts operates so successfully in San Antonio due largely to the wonderful relationship we have with the Port. With their generous assistance, we secured a spacious state-of-the-art facility within their campus. This fully-renovated building provides a place where our Warriors and dogs can receive the care and training they need. It also assures that our game-changing Canine Assisted Warrior Therapy® program will continue to grow and thrive. From 2016 to the end of 2019, this innovative therapy program provided services for 863 individual Warriors nationwide by providing Warriors the opportunity to derive psychological benefits from positive, healing structured interaction with our dogs. We are immensely fortunate to have allies who are committed to serving our community and build a better future right here in South Texas. If you would like to volunteer or donate to this worthy cause, click on the links above to visit our website and help today!