Mission community honors local veterans

Local News

MISSION, Texas ( ValleyCentral) — Cities across the valley paid tribute to their local veterans Thursday.

Those we spoke to tell Valley Central it’s not only important to feel appreciated by their own community but to also be there to support one another.

“I mean it is great to show you know appreciation to these veterans,” said Sergeant Major, Walter Rand. “Even though I have served myself, I really enjoy letting them that I’m still here for you.”

Whether it’s a giant parade or just a simple “Thank You,” veterans like Rand sees every bit of appreciation as a heartwarming message. But since retiring from the Army, Rand is also making sure he passes his 30 years of military experience on to the next generation.

“Becoming a junior ROTC instructor here in Mission at Veterans Memorial High School, I get a chance to do that every day,” Rand said. ” You know just teaching the youth and sharing my experience and helping them with discipline.”

Other veterans like Roy Pena said his time in the military changed a lot for him.

“It impacted my life a lot because it gave me focus you know on my life and on my family and raising my children,” Pena said

Now Pena and his organization The Patriot Riders aim to fellow veterans in need. But Pena believes people should always support veterans’ families as well.

“You know three of my sons served during Iraq,” Pena said. ” So believe me you are always praying and hoping that they are going to come home.”

Minnie Rodgers is one of those family members. Rodger’s late husband served in the military for five years. Veterans Day is a big day for everyone in her community.

“We bring bands, we bring everybody from Mission to come and give all of the veterans a lift,” Rodgers said. We let them know that they are not forgotten, that someone will always be here.

However, with all of the love and appreciation that was shown, Rodgers still plans on coming out and supporting veterans in the future. She said it’s her way of remembering her husband.

“I wanted to cry of course, I’m very sentimental all the time,” Rodgers said. “But I feel very fortunate that at my age I’m still here and I can say thank you for your service.”

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