Ewell-Compton American Legion Post 193 worked more than 1 1/2 years to bring the American Veteran Traveling Tribute (AVTT) Vietnam Traveling Wall to Goliad.
Post 193 was able to raise enough money through donations to bring the AVTT Wall to Goliad for five days, including Veterans Day. This was accomplished by several organizations, businesses and individuals. All this began as an idea the Goliad High School National Honor Society had which was passed on to Post 193. GHS National Honor Society sold Military Branch flags that were placed around the county courthouse on Memorial Day 2018. The funds collected were given to Post 193 for the AVTT project. Weesatche 4 Warriors was generous in adding funds to the project several times to help us reach our goal. American Bank of Goliad, Goliad Funeral Home, Grace Funeral Home, the Knights of Columbus and Goliad National Bank along with many individuals donated funds.
American Bank provided free food at the opening ceremony on Friday and throughout Saturday. GHS National Honor Society and Weesatche 4 Warriors provided assistance to those visitors who needed help to find someone on the AVTT Wall. We were challenged to provide 24-hour security and again many individuals, Weesatche 4 Warriors, members of Victoria VFW/American Legion along with Post 193 Goliad and individuals stepped up to the challenge. The Veterans Band of Corpus Christi provided the opening ceremony with music and a special program presenting all U.S. Military tunes and descriptions of each branch.
Sen. Kolkhorst was the opening ceremony speaker on Friday, Nov. 8. It was cold, windy and raining on and off through the ceremony. However, she delivered a heartwarming speech honoring all American veterans past present and future. We want to thank her and her staff for attending opening day along with staying to visit with many of those in attendance.
Veterans Day 2019 will be remembered as the Day that the Vietnam Wall visited Goliad. Goliad High School Band provided music during the ceremony and also played a tune that all Goliad High School class will never forget (Tiger Rag) for the two Goliad young men who did not return home.
There is a special group of men and women that provided the setup and taking down of the AVTT Vietnam Wall. This group set up the wall and took down the wall in record time according to the AVTT representative.
I was asked how many visited the Wall. We only can estimate that between 6,000 and 7,000 visited from Nov. 7 through Nov. 11.
I also was asked how I felt about the Wall. This Wall represents not only those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but all the hundreds of thousands of men and women who served during the Vietnam War. I am proud to see all the support from Goliad and I hope that this will make everyone realize what freedom really cost
Jimmy Schulze, American Legion Post 193 Commander, Goliad