Christine Lee, NBC 5 Irving Reporter
Supporting military families and their children was the focus of luncheon hosted by Big Brother, Big Sisters in Irving Tuesday.
Oil and gas legend T. Boone Pickens joined other guests for a luncheon Tuesday focused on supporting military families and their children.
More than 200 people attended the America's Future series hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
"What we're trying to do is get a whole bunch of community leaders in one room and let's discuss where we're going to go in the future to help our veteran community, to help their families," said Peter Hillard, Big Brothers Big Sisters spokesman.
Pickens donated $3 million in 2008 to support the nonprofit's Military Mentors Program.
"I'm always sensitive to children at risk, and when both parents are taken away or one from the family in the military, I think it does put them at risk," he said.
Earlier this year Big Brothers Big Sisters of America received a generous government grant that gave it the resources to recruit up to 1,150 military children throughout the country.
Pickens, who briefly met a number of children in the program, said he was happy to see the program growing.
With the grant money to get more children on board, Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes more community members across the country will step up to volunteer.
"We can have civilians do their part for their country and serve as mentors to our military children, as well as veterans at home serving as mentors to our military children," Hillard said.
About 1,800 military children, including 350 in North Texas, participate in the program.