Veterans groups to gather to honor fallen troops
Members of Victoria County veterans organizations will pay homage to their fallen brothers and sisters Monday during the annual Memorial Day program at DeLeon Plaza in downtown Victoria.
"Freedom is not free, and to us veterans who fought for this country, it's important to remember those who did not come home," said Augie Barrios, a veteran of the Vietnam War and chairman of the Victoria County Veterans Council. "That's why it's important to come together every year. To remember them.
"And we hope and pray that the next generation will continue to feel the same way."
More than a dozen veterans organizations will take part in placing wreaths to honor those killed in combat.
These groups include World War I Veteran Association, Rosebud Barracks No. 1767; Pearl Harbor Survivor Association, Texas Chapter 1; American Legion, Leon A. Zear Post No. 166; Catholic War Veterans, St. John Post No. 1269; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Texas Post No. 4146; Disabled American Veterans, Texas Chapter 169;Marine Corps League, Jack Ringel Detachment No. 540; Military Order of the World Wars, Crossroads Chapter; American Ex Prisoners of War, Texas Chapter No. 1; Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 3077; Vietnam Veterans of America Crossroads, Chapter 898; Korean War Veterans, Victoria Chapter No. 223; and Navy Seabees, Island at Large.
The program, with Gary Moses as master of ceremonies, begins at 11 a.m. with a welcome from Victoria County Clerk Robert Cortez on behalf of Barrios.
Deborah Branch, Melissa Galvan and Beth Petrash will read the names of recently deceased veterans followed by the ringing of a bell of remembrance by Marvin Lockhart II.
After the laying of the wreaths, Martin Garcia will deliver the Memorial Day address.
Garcia, of Bloomington, is a Purple Heart recipient who is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans and a past commandant of the Marine Corps League, Jack Ringel Detachment No. 540.
After the address, Stephanie Pfiel will deliver the benediction followed by a firing squad volley by the Catholic War Veterans and then the playing of taps by Charles Haubolt.
The public is encouraged to attend.
For a list of Memorial Day ceremonies in the Crossroads, CLICK HERE