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American GI Forum Texas News

Celebrating 72 Years–
American GI Forum 2020 National Conference is Now Work-in-Progress!

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.: AUSTIN, Texas –The National Conference Committee headed by Texas CEO Gil Rodriguez began working on the upcoming 2020 American GI Forum of the U.S. National Conference is now scheduled for July 30 thru August 1, 2020 at the Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel, 111 E. Pecan, San Antonio, Texas 70205. A contract with the Hotel has been signed and a block of rooms has been set aside for AGIF Delegates and guests. The Texas AGIF also has a signed contract between National Commander Larry Romo and State Commander Ceasar Ruiz outlining responsibilities and work assignments for the Conference. More>

Fall State Board of Directors’ Meeting held in San Marcos, Texas

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN MARCOS, Texas – The State Board of Directors met on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the San Marcos Clubhouse, San Marcos Texas, Texas. The Finance Committee met with CEO Gil Rodriguez before the meeting to establish a budget for the state office expenses and Board travel for the 2020 year. This yearly undertaking sets funding that helps execute our established mission for another year. All executive officers are allotted a yearly travel budget for all state business that includes funding for AGIF national travel for the State Commander, State Chairwoman and the State CEO.  

Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter unveils 2019-2020 Hispanic Heritage Month Bus Wrap

By Patsy M. Vazquez-Contes, BTP Director of Events and Partnerships

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – On Sunday October 13, 2019, the American G. I. Forum (AGIF), Beatrice T. Perez (BTP) Robstown Women’s Chapter will  host the unveiling bus wrap ceremony with the theme: The Power of Hispanic Leadeshipon the Domingo Live Show (on Sunday, October 13, 2019 between 10:30 AM – Noon). Our Keynote speaker will be Robstown City Manager Herman Rodriguez.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15 each year to show awareness of the history, culture and contributions of American citizens whose ancestry originates from any one of the Latino countries is celebrated. More> 

A Report from Cmdr. Castilleja on Activities of the Seguin Manuel Castilla Chapter

By Commander Javier Castilleja

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SEGUIN, Texas–To all members of the of the American Gi Forum (AGIF), on September 20, 2019 AGIF SEGUIN MANUEL CASTILLA chapter held a flag raising ceremony at Manuel Park, the ceremony coincided with National POW/MIA Day of Remembrance.  Our Honor Guard Santo Castillo, and Bruno Martinez posted the U.S. & POW/MIA Flag at half mass.  A lone table, set for one, represented each serviceman and servicewoman who remains missing in action. More>

California Forumeer Former National Commander Jake Alarid, with a sense of Pride, remembers,”My 2 Cents Worth" on the Moon Landing

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc Report: EL CAMINO REAL CHAPTER, CALIFORNIA – My parents always reminded me that being the oldest of 13 children I had to set an example for my brothers and sisters and that was to go to college and get an education.  My 5th grade teacher, Sister Mary Louis demanded to know what I wanted to be when I grew up, which prompted me to tell her I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. More>

State Conference Update:
Seguin Manuel Castillas Chapter Commander Thanks all Delegates Attending the 2019 State Conference

American GI Forum Report: AUSTIN, Texas – “On behalf of our chapter I want to thank and show my appreciation to all members who attended at our 2019 Annual State Conference here in Seguin,” remarked newly Elected Chapter Commander Javier Castilleja and Co-chair of the State  Conference. Commander Castilleja replaced Commander Chris Aviles as Seguin Commander.

“I also thank and proud, grateful and thankful for the local chapter members who dedicated time, effort and resources to make the 2019 Conference in Seguin a success with a special thanks to Mr. JP Amador, Conference co-chair.”  More>

Acknowledgements, Successes and Thank You from Our Former National Chairwoman

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas – I would like to take this moment to acknowledge our accomplishments of the past year and thank those of you who helped make these successes possible. I had the honor of serving as your 2018 National Chairwoman for the American G.I. Forum of the United States. It was an unforgettable year full of accomplishments as new friendships arose, old ones were reinforced, and new challenges welcomed.  I was encouraged to seek a second term but decided not to seek re-election because I am motivated to work on several special projects for the organization. More>

Myrna Chavarria, Miguel Hernandez Cmdr is Texas AGIF Facebook Administrator

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas. The American Gi Forum of Texas is hoping to expand coverage of news and activities throughout the AGIF as it expands its Facebook coverage. Myrna Chavarria, Commander of the San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Memorial Chapter has been selected and accepted the job to administer the Texas Facebook Page. She is being assisted by State Vice Commander Ceasar Ruiz when needed. Gil Rodriguez, Texas State Exec will also be contributing information from the AGIFTX.org Web site. More>

AGIF 2018-19 National Executive Board

 71st AGIF-US National Conference in

Las Vegas, Nevada

 News From Around Our State

 2019-2020 State Executive Board Members

2018 National Conference

2018 State Conference Photos

Veterans Benefits News

VA To Implement Appeals Modernization in February
Act will simplify process for how Veterans make appeals 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) announced that the Federal Register will publish on Jan. 18 regulations accompanying the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 (AMA), which will help Veterans experience a more transparent claims decision-review process.

After publication of the regulations, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie will certify the department’s readiness to implement appeals modernization, which will transform a complex appeals process into one that is simple, timely and provides greater choice to Veterans who disagree with a VA decision. More>

Get an Answer Within 30 Days of VA Receiving Your Claim

Considering submitting a claim for an increase in your disability compensation? VA’s new Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program delivers decisions within 30 days.

Eric, a Marine Corps Veteran, was urged to apply for VA disability compensation because of an injury to his upper back that occurred during boot camp.

“The only thing that helps are massages, so I use the money for that. It goes towards normal living expenses too, because it is more than I expected,” he says. “It has made my life a lot easier to have that extra income.” Read More>

VA Disability Claims Application Process for Veterans

American GI Forum of Texas, STATE OFFICE, AUSTIN, Texas –The AGIFTX is publishing the fllowing information for our members and other veterans in the hope of helping them in seeking help from the VA.

In the face of dramatically increasing workloads and a backlog that affects Veterans of all eras – and both first-time filers and Veterans coming back to VA for a supplementary claim – the Veterans Benefits Administration must deliver first-rate, timely benefits and services, faster and more effectively than ever before. The steps that we publish below are to help you file a service Claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. You may click on any of the links we are providing for you to get the maximum help when filing your claim.

More information about VA Forms 21-526EZ, 21-527EZ, 21-534EZ or VA Form 21-0958, Notice of Disagreement, may be found at www.ebenefits.va.gov or www.va.gov/vaforms/.The VA must help you meet your needs. You can find a list of all the benefits by going to http://www.benefits.va.gov/ or by uploading the General Overview of Filing a Service Claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs here.

To achieve our goals for improving the delivery of benefits to Veterans, we are paroviding a General overview of filing a service claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Transformation Plan that includes initiatives to re-train and reorganize our people, streamline VA business processes, and build and implement new technology solutions to eliminate the claims backlog and process all claims faster and at a higher quality.

TTexas Veterans and AGIFTX members can get more information form the Texas Veterans commission here http://www.tvc.state.tx.us/ or http://www.agif-nvop.org

Past Events & Schedules
American GI Forum News

Remembering Alfred C. Hernandez

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – This a sad message on the passing of a dear friend and long-time American GI Forum (AGIF) member. Alfred C. Hernandez was born on August 21, 1933 in Poteet, Texas to Hipolito and Francisca Corella Hernandez. He served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. He lived in Union City, Fremont and Modesto, California for 60 years, where he was a realtor, before moving to Richmond, Texas in August of 2018. On June 1, 1968, he married Diana Avila in Fremont, California. More>

American GI Forum Awards Students Laptops in Essay Contest
By Vicky Camarillo, Corpus Christi Caller Times

World War II veteran, doctor and activist Hector P. Garcia made history in 1967 when he gave a statement to the United Nations General Assembly in Spanish. It was the first time an American representative had addressed the assembly in a language other than English.

Those kinds of actions helped cement Garcia as an advocate for Hispanic civil rights, according to essays written by local students. More>

For the full story, video & photos: https://www.caller.com/story/news/education/2019/10/10/american-gi-forum-awards-students-laptops-essay-contest/3906502002/

Judge Perkins to be Honored–
Austin Chapter Will Host Annual Christmas Awards Dance December 21

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas–The Austin Chapter will host its annual Christmas Awards Benefit Dance on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at the Wyndham Garden Inn Hotel, 34o01 N. IH-35 in Austin, Texas. Chapter Commander Armando Longoria and his committee are working diligently to assure attendees a memorable evening during the Holiday Season. This year’s annual awards event will be honoring retired Judge Bob Perkins for his many years of work for the community with a special award. Two Austin Chapter members will also receive awards for their work and dedication to Veterans and their families and our community. More>

Romo-Gonzales Re-elected
Update on 71st Annual American GI Forum National Conference held in Las Vegas, August 4-8, 2019

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.: AUSTIN, Texas –2019 American G I Forum of the United States National Conference took place August 4-8, 2019 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. Below are some updates and events that occurred during the Conference. National Commander Larry Romo won a close race for rel-election with Texas Commander Ceasar Ruiz. National Chairwoman Dora Gonzales ran unopposed. All new officers are listed below. More>

A Brief Update Report on 2019 National Mid-year Conference in Corpus Christi

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas –The 2019 National Midyear Conference held in Corpus Christi Texas April 28 thru May 1, 2019 at the Radisson Hotel Corpus Christi Beach was successfully completed. The Hotel accommodations for delegates and the meeting rooms were very good and served us well. All information and reports that were given were approved. The report on the 2018 National Conference was presented by Texas Conference Chairs was approved and the distributions of funds was made concluding the business of the 2018 National Conference in San Antonio. More>

From National Vice Commander Russell Lopez
Embassy of the Republic of Korea Seeks Korean War Veterans to Honor With the Ambassador for Peace Medal

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DENVER, Colorado –National Vice Commander Russell Lopez is untaking an effort seeking Veterans who qualify for the Ambassador for Peace Medal. If you have a friend or family member who served in Korea and it doesn't matter whether they're alive or passed on. Commander Lope has a medal to award them and needs your help. Attached is the history, criteria, and application form for this medal. He will create an awards ceremony for the recipients once he gets the qualified veterans and medals. This is a recent medal that they probably haven't received yet. More>

Resolution Declares 70th Annual National  Conference Dedicated to all Korean Veterans Living or Deceased

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The American  GI Forum of the U.S. by resolution declared that the 70th Annual National  Conference be also dedicated to the Korean Veterans alive or deceased. The resolution passed unanimously by the Delegate present.

Two other resolutions were read by National Sgt-at-Arms Mario Perales from Fort Stockton Forum in Texas and passed. These were the only resolutions declared to be official and permissible according to our AGIF National Constitution by the Resolutions Committee appointed by appointed by the National Commander to presented and read to the delegation for approval. More>

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Thank you from Commander Martinez for a Job Well Done! 

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: Houston, Texas – Greetings Fellow Forumeers, Women and Youth chapters and friends. This is my first chance to Congratulate the new Commander-Elect Ceasar Ruiz and the rest of the re-elected Board members. Once again it is an honor to have been your State Commander for the past 5 years and will continue to serve you until June 1.

It is unfortunate that I had to miss some activities with some things still pending because of health issues. Gil and I have always worked to make this the best organzation in the Nation and thanks to all of you we have, in my opinion,  successfully achieved that goal. I am pleased knowing that our membership is stable, our finances are excellent and our state is united. I'm sure that come June, Ceasar and our board will continue our progress. More> 

Ceasar Ruiz Elected State Commander
Texas AGIF Celebrates 70th Anniversary at Annual Conferecne American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The 70th Anniversary was celebrated at the 2018 American GI Forum State Conference, in Austin Texas, March 23-25, 2018 and it was successful and an enjoyable and productive experience.  

Notably absent was State Cmndr John Martinez, although doing extremely well he still in recovery but at the time had other personal problems and was unable to attend. Mr. Mario Peralez, 1st Vice-commander from Fort Stockton took charge and did an excellent job running the meetings.

The State office and members of the Austin Chapter put efforts with a very short time-frame to put this conference together in an effort to make this conference and board meeting a success.

Ceasar Ruiz, Austin Chapter was elected as the New State Commander. He and the board will assume office in June becase of a resolution passed to keep our fiscal year finances and budget in order.(Read More)

TX Mid-Year Conference in Del Rio Feb. 21-23
Thank you Del Rio!

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DEL RIO, Texas – The State Board of Directors met February 21-23, 2019 in Del Rio, Texas for their annual Mid-year Conference. 

The Conference convened on Friday February 22 at 1:00 am. Commander Ceasar Ruiz opened the conference to a quorum of Texas delegates from throughout the state. Local Commander Jose Martinez welcome the delegates and Vice Commander Howdy Leal and chairwoman Sylvia Garza responded by thanking the Dr. Fermin Calderon and San Felipe del Rio Women's Chapters for hosting the event. More>

Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter Annual Veterans & Youth Education & Technology Program

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRIST, TX – The American GI Forum, Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter hosted their annual Veterans and Youth Education & Technology Program allowing them to continue the legacy set on March 26, 1948 in Corpus Christi, Texas at Lamar Elementary School.  

They are committed to working collectively with local Corporate Sponsors and Community Leaders to build a bridge that offers the American Dream for the next generation of veterans, their families and our future leaders of America. More> See Photos>

AGIF National News

National Office Update:
Important Information from the National Office for 2019-20

American GI Forum of the U.S.: Pueblo, CO – The 2018-19 National Board reminds the States that dues and assessments for Charter Charters are due by January 31, 2020. Dues payed begining October 1, 2019 til December 31, 2018 will be be considered payed for the entire 2020 year. Chapters being late in remitting dues and assessments may be subject to an additional charge per chapter per month.

Forum Chapters must have at least 8 veterans when submitting transmittals. 25% non-veterans are allowed under the constitution and must be maintained in order to qualify as a chapter in good standing. Women and youth chapters must have at least 8 members to qualify as viable chapters.

Dues must be submitted and paid through each State Treasurer. Each State Treasurer will submit all dues and assessments to the National Office, attention to Mr. Luis Vazquez Contes (acting Office Manager) at the National Office. Along with checks, transmittal and charter renewal forms must be submitted. Membership applications are not necessary except for new members. New Veteran members must show proof of status. When running for State of National Office copies of a DD-214 or VA card will be needed for proof of status.  More>

MALDEF Suit Stops Exclusion of Mexican Americans from “Whites Only” Cemetery 
Normanna Cemetery Association Agrees that Refusal to Bury Latino Residents is Discriminatory and Violates Rights of Latinos

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: CORPUS CHRISTI, TX— A MALDEF lawsuit filed in April aimed at stopping the exclusion of Mexican Americans from being buried in a “Whites Only” Cemetery came to a swift end Friday when the Normanna Cemetery Association agreed in court that its policy is discriminatory and violates the rights of Latinos. 

MALDEF filed the lawsuit on behalf of the American G.I. Forum of Texas, Inc. a non-profit membership organization that serves and advocates on the behalf of Latino military veterans throughout the State of Texas. Read More>

Recent Updates


San Antonoio, Texas is the site selected for the 2020 National Conference. The dates are July 30-Ausgust 1, 2020 at the Wyndham San Antonio River Walk Hotel 111. N. Pecan Street

Our next scheduled State meeting will be the Fall Meeting in San Marcos, Texas. The meeting will take place at the san Marcos Clubhouse, October 26, 2019 and a place to be announced.

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