Philip Sanchez, a retired Army Sgt. Major, was the keynote speaker. A cousin to VFW Post 6290 Cmdr. Richard Sanchez, the two Sanchez veterans are descendants of several generations of vets who fought in foreign wars.
Richard recalled how their fathers discussed World War II and how their sons also went to war.
The Sanchez cousins are also former Woodsboro High School classmates of young men who lost their lives in Vietnam.
For Richard, Veterans Day is a time to remember his classmate and friend Angel Vega who was killed in Vietnam.
Recently through the Internet, a person in Sweden told the family that Angel might still be alive. Sanchez, along with Vega's family, were given a glimmer of hope that Angel might be alive. While a funeral service was conducted for Angel, closure never came.
“They never opened the casket,” Sanchez said. “I pray every day for all the vets, the POWs and the MIAs.
Judge Rene Mascorro posed questions to the crowd about the unkept promises.
“Why are we arguing about things that don’t really matter? We’re waiting for a military appropriations bill... why are we not doing enough... why did it take so long for a veterans hospital in South Texas?”
Mascorro called people to action, saying he was going to write Congressman Blake Farenthold and ask him to sign the bill and get things done.
Chamber president Lenny Anzaldua, who made a career of the Air Force, said that as much as anything else, returning veterans need jobs.
“They’re dedicated to duty, they won’t stop until the job is done and they understand the true meaning of deadlines. Hiring a vet is the best way to go,” he said.
The post recognized a number of veterans including Onofre Orosco who came with his son, Nonie Orosco, a decorated helicopter pilot in Vietnam, Art Loya who has been at the post for 40 years and Willie Brown who has also been a member for many decades.
Two hours later, a delegation of VFW members went to Mission Ridge Nursing and Rehab Center where five veterans reside.
The veterans were presented with certificates of appreciation and post coins. One World War II veteran, Joe Bruchmiller, turned 103 this year.
The veteran’s events actually began Friday night during the halftime show at Eagle Stadium in Woodsboro. VFW Post 6290 honored men and women who have served and are currently serving the country.
As the Veterans Band of Corpus Christi under the direction of Ram Chavez played renditions of the themes of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, the honor guard posted the flags and recognized the veterans in the stadium and on the field.
On Saturday evening, members of the First Baptist Church of Blanconia welcomed home Brandon Thompson from boot camp with a reception at the Dewey and Lori Bellows home in Refugio.
On behalf of the post, Ron Nelson presented Thompson with a flag.
Thompson said if he has a choice, he wants to be a chaplain in the Marines.