Over 300 students in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District got the opportunity to hear personal stories and experiences from veterans on Monday.

It was all part of the district’s first-ever “Vessel Project: Lunch With A Veteran.”

Students taking Dual Credit US History courses from PSJA Early College HS, PSJA North Early College HS, PSJA Memorial Early College HS, and PSJA Southwest Early College HS had the opportunity to interview and interact with dozens of Veterans.

According to a release, the Vessel project aimed to pair high school students with Veterans from across different military branches in the Rio Grande Valley and allowed them to hear about the sacrifices they made to defend the country.

“I am honored to be here and know that students are learning about veterans,” said Wilczynski, who served in the US Navy from 1981-1986. “Students asked me a lot of insightful questions about my experiences and I got to share some of my stories with them.”

Texas Senator Eddie Lucio also praised the program.

“This is an important event because it allows us to learn the stories of our Veterans,” said Senator Lucio during his remarks on Monday. “Veterans epitomize what it means to be an American. Thank you to our Veterans for the sacrifices you have made and everyone for honoring them.”

PSJA ISD Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo expressed his gratitude to veterans.

“We are free because of the many sacrifices and courage from the brave,” said Dr. Arredondo. “Thank you to all the brave individuals who served and fought for our country. It is our privilege to honor you.”