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American GI Forum Texas News

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>

American GI Forum National and Texas State Chaplain, Father Richard Peña Passed Away

American GI Form of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas –It is with great sadness that I report that Father Richard Peña, the Official Chaplain of the American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. and the American GI Forum of The U.S., a retired priest of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, died Wednesday June 26 at the age of 75.

After an official request from the American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Father Richard Peña became the official Chaplain of Texas and later also for the National Organization in August 2000. He was appointed by Archbishop Patrick F. Flores from the Archdiocese of San Antonio to serve as its Chaplain and provide the American GI Forum with its spiritual needs. Father Richard Pena participated with the American GI Forum as Texas State and National Chaplain serving until poor health forced him to retire. He is deserving of many accolades for his service, but as a humble individual, he modestly and graciously accepted his role as a tribute to his calling. Read More> See Photos

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>

Cosme Barcelo, AGIF-TX San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter, Recuperates After Car Accident

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Mr. Cosme Barcelo, San Antonio Miguel Hernandez chapter Secretary was recently involved in a serious accident. While we try to keep you informed of all serious events, we were a little behind in getting the correct information. Many of you have called and I will repeat only what we know here at the State Office. The accident was serious causing Cosme to suffer serious injuries that required at least three surgeries on some broken bones and internal injuries. He was taken for surgery at University Medical Center in San Antonio. He has since moved to the Rehab Center, 8300 Wurzback Road, Room 42, a short distance from the medical center. Chapter Commander Frank Archuleta and National Commander Larry Romo (shown in photo), and members of his chapter have visited with him among others. More>

AGIF, Fort Stockton Chapter Receive Donation from Local DAV

American GI Forum Report: AUSTIN, Texas –In a joint venture of helping veterans in need, and as member of the Fort Stockton Chapter of American GI Forum of Texas, Inc., 1st Vice Commander Mario Perales recently met with DAV Commander Paul Reed of the local Permian Basin DAV chapter 58. Commander Reed is also a veteran's service officer. In an effort continue their work of helping Veterans with immediate needs Commander Reed presented Mario Perales, AGIF Fort Stockton Secretary Treasurer, with a check for $3,000. The donation is to be used to continue with the American GI Forum state and the local chapter’s effort of assisting with Veterans’ emergency needs. More>

AGIF Members Attention: Special Important Notice
AGIF Texas State Office in Austin has Relocated

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – This is and office notice from  State Commander Ceasar Ruiz and the CEO Gil Rodriguez from the State Office informing all members that the state office of the American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. has been moved. The Office lease expired December 31, 2018 and no agreement was reached in negotiating a new lease. Consequently all the Businesses including the AGIF Office had to be relocated. More>

 San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Commander Appointed Army Reserve Ambassador to Texas

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.: AUSTIN, Texas – Lieutenant General, Charles D. Luckey, Chief, Army Reserve appointed Frank J. Archuleta to serve a three-year term for the State Texas, and the 63rd Readiness Division. His appointment began on November 30, 2018.

As an Army Reserve Ambassador, Archuleta will promote the goals and objectives of the Army Reserve by telling the Army Reserve story to the American people via local civic groups and organizations and to state and local elected officials. He will be responsible for providing a variety of briefings to convey the capabilities, skills and value the Army Reserve brings to communities. More>

AGIF National Vice Cmdr Lopez Attends Medal Presentation in Wheat Ridgeand; Valenzuela Mobil Unveiling in Colorado Springs 

Medal Presentation Ceremony

Amerian GI Forum of Texas Report: Wheat Ridge, CO – A presentation ceremony honoring the service of WWII veteran Sergeant William D. Peterson with the China War Memorial Medal. Present among friends and family, was Major General Mason C. Whitney, former Adjutant General, State of Colorado (left), who presented Sgt. Bill Peterson with the medal.

Peterson, and all WWII veterans deserves our respect and gratitude for their service and for their continued dedication to help build and better our communities upon their return. More>

Words from the American GI Forum of the U.S. Past National Commander

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – It’s been a month since the conclusion of our 70th American GI Forum of the US (AFIFUS) National Conference in San Antonio, TX. Reflecting back on the last four years, the organization has gone through some prolific and tumultuous times. Either way, we have made great strides in fortifying and turning the organization in the right direction.

As the newly elected National Commander in 2014, I set out to do an in-depth self-assessment to improve the organization. After discussion with the executive board, we agreed to develop plans and policies to codify our goals.  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

 69th AGIF-US National Conference in Albuquerque, NM. 

 News From Around Our State

Recent News & Past Events

 2017-2018 State Executive Board Members

2017 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

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>

National Conference Agenda
71st Annual American GI Forum National Conference in Las Vegas, August 4-8, 2019

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.: AUSTIN, Texas –The National Conference Committee is working to finalize details for the upcoming 2019 American G I Forum of the United States National Conference scheduled for August 4-8, 2019 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, 129 East Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada 89101. National Commander Larry Romo confirms that all updates and information will be subject to changes and will be posted on this site as they becomes available. More>

State 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>

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>

An Overview of the 70th Conference in San Antonio, TX
2018 AGIF Conference Chairs: Thank You AGIF

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. AUSTIN, Texas – Thank you all of you who came to our beautiful city of San Antonio and enjoyed what is perhaps one of the most successful conferences in recent years. We have written a short review on mostly the social events that took place at this 70th conference. Our past National Commander and Past National Chairwoman have already published their thanks and a reflections of their past terms. Commander Angel and Chairwoman Vazquez Contes chose not to run for reelection. We thank them both for their service. More>  Conf.Photos>

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)

A message from the Chairwoman
National Chairwoman Thanks the Prior Administration for Their Dedication to the American GI Forum of the U.S.

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: Pueblo CO – "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the prior administration for their dedication to the American GI Forum of the United States (AGIF) and for volunteering their time to serve as national board members of this organization." said Patsy Vazquez Contes, newly elected National Chairwoman. 

"I’ve have learned that businesses need three things to succeed: management skills, money to finance and grow, and markets/ patrons to serve. 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 2018-19

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, 2019. Dues payed begining October 1, 2018 til December 31, 2018 will be be considered payed for the entire 2019 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


Las Vegas Nevada is the site selected for the 2019 National Conference. The dates are August 4-8, 2019 at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in the Down Town area.

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

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