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Fallen soldiers from the Crossroads honored at weekend bash (w/video)

By Bianca Montes
May 24, 2014 at 12:24 a.m.

Johnny Ray Alvarez addresses the crowd after accepting a flag and plaque from the Fallen Heroes Association on behalf of the family of Albert Salazar, a veteran of World War II and Vietnam, during a ceremony Saturday at the Memorial Weekend Bash at Riverside Park. Alvarez is a friend of the Salazar family. Salazar was injured in his first tour then healed and volunteered for a second tour. When Salazar was injured and healed again, he volunteered to be deployed for a third time - this time to Vietnam -  but didn't make it back from war.

If You Go

WHAT: Memorial Weekend Bash

WHEN: Noon-midnight Sunday

WHERE: Riverside Park

COST: $10 at the gate

CONTACT: 361-652-4406

Those Honored

Benito Canchola, of Bloomington - Died February 1969, Vietnam War

Andrew Montano, of Victoria - Died August 1969, Vietnam War

Richard Ruiz, of Victoria - Died October 1967, Vietnam War

Albert Salazar, of Victoria - Died October 1944, World War II

Julian Soliz, of Victoria - Died May 1968, Vietnam War

Johnny Villarreal, of Victoria - Died December 1967, Vietnam War

Alvin Soliz said a part of him died when his brother boarded a plane to serve in the Vietnam War.

"I hoped I'd see him again," he said, but when news came home telling him his brother was killed in action, his heart broke. Soliz had 13 brothers and sisters, but his brother Julian was his best friend.

"I couldn't get over it when he died," Soliz, 70, of Victoria, said. "He was a great man - not because he was my brother, but because he would give you the shirt off his back."

The Fallen Heroes Association had a ceremony late Saturday afternoon to honor six Crossroads veterans who lost their lives fighting in war. The dedication took place during the annual Memorial Weekend Bash at Riverside Park.

The event, which began Friday, hosted a carnival, several food trucks and live Tejano music with Duelo, Siggno, Lokura and Lucky Joe Suerte set to perform Sunday.

Soliz said honoring veterans is important, "so people will remember those that died for our freedom."

The Fallen Heroes Association presented the ceremony, and event organizer Johnny Ray Alvarez said they deeply thank Frank Salazar for allowing them the platform to honor the fallen soldiers.

Alvarez, 64, of Victoria, said starting Sunday morning, he is going to find more families in the Crossroads to honor at the event next year.

"These men and women are the reason we live free," he said.

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