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Conference Entertainment | Keynote Speaker | New Officers | 2017 Conference Photos

69th Annual State Conference in Houston Great Success

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The American GI Forum Houston Lucian Adams Chapter and the Greater Houston Women’s chapter had an overwhelming success hosting our 69th Annual Texas State Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, 7979 Willow Chase Blvd, Houston, Texas starting on Thursday June 8th thru Sunday June 11th. 

Carlos Martinez, NVOP President and CEO was Keynote at Fridays Veterans Luncheon. He gave an excellent report on the NVOP expansions and new programs for the future. Brigadier General Jose Martinez keynoted the Commanders’ Banquet thanking Veterans and their families and AGIF for its many years of involvement advocating for Veterans and Military families. He added some personal stories that brought the attention of the audience. The evening was capped off with dancing to the music of DJ Joe Lopez. He is an outstanding performer and the music he selected was excellent for an evening of dancing.

Friday at the Women's Luncheon State Senator Garcia, Sgt.Ruth Recio-Jefferson and The Scuttlebutt’s Editor and Publisher spoke on numerous subjects including opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Saturday evening was the Founders Reception conculding with the installation of Officers. For a complete list of officers click here.

Lucian Adams Commander, Jesse Medel and his committee did an excellent job on the conference this year. They provided the delegation with plenty of food (3 meals a day), a hospitality room every night that included snacks, adult refreshments and yes, entertainment. The members themselves, including the man from Austin, with his mature (not aging) vocals provided the members an array of musical melodies. Some so oldies, and some not so old that provided the mood for "another round."

Beside the scheduled agenda, Houston had some excellent speakers, provided a couple excellent workshops, Presenters included Citizenship for immigrant veterans, Bingo, The Conference put forth and passed some good resolutions and some with strong debate and controversy.  Chapters and Chairs presented some very positive reports including an update report on Heroes Lodge, an Austin AGIF Project, and the state report informing us that the state remains solid. Click here to read some of the resolutions that passed.

The Conference voted on next year’s Conference to be in Austin. Because the National Conference will be in Texas next year and will be hosted by the State Office, it was decided that the February meeting be moved to March 23, days before the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the American GI Forum, thus eliminating having the State and The National on back-to-back months. That 2018 National Conference is scheduled for July 26-28, 2018 at the Wyndham Hotel by the River in San Antonio, Texas. Details will follow.

This year, Texas went back to having an Executive Board of Directors meeting on Sunday following the Conference. The budget was presented and passed by the 2017-18 Board. The Board listened and discussed other items usually reserved for October. Action that includes finances cannot be approved by the board, but can be presented at the next State Conference.

The Board of Directors Meeting in October has been eliminated so that the State will only meet twice a year. One on the Sunday following the State Conference and the other done will be in February. The Winter Board meeting will become known as the annual State Mid-Year Conference. Next year, will be an exception since this meeting was moved to March by the delegates at the 2017 Conference and will be the Official 2018 State Conference.

Information on the Hotel and Rates for the State Conference will be set and information distributed by U.S. Mail, E-mail and posted on our Website as soon as it becomes available. Please note that the registration, was set bu the conference at no more than $70 for the 2 day event. The two days will include a board of directors meeting on a Friday and a one day Conference on Saturday. There will be no special early registration, but a deadline for mailing-in will be set. Please keep watching the website for complete information. Email is stateoffice@agiftx.com or gil@agiftx.com. State office official phone is (512) 992-7066. Registration forms will be available on line as well as on-line registration and the hotel registration information will also be posted and distributed.

The American GI Forum of Texas Commander, Board and State Office as well as all delegates and others attending thank the Lucian Adams Chapter and the Greater Houston Women’s Chapter for their outstanding hospitality, great entertainment from Jess Lopez, excellernt speakers Carlos Martinez, Selective Service Director Donald Benton, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, Brigadier General Jose Ramirez, Councilmember Robert Gallegos, County Sheriff Ed Gonzales and Representative Gene Green aide. Congratulations to the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel and Staff for doing an outstanding job in seeing the needs of the Delegates. All the services and food were excellent. This was the second time hosting us. They had hosted us in 2013 and we hope to be back. They do it right!

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Re-elects Martinez; Perales, Chavarria and Longoria Elected to the Executive Board
Women Reelect Garza, Aleman Elected Women’s Treasurer. 

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: HOUSTON, Texas – The State Delegate re-elected John Martinez as State Commander. Mr.  Mario Perales from Ft. Stockton was elected as First Vice commander replacing Mr. Caesar Ruiz who chose not to seek re-election. Ms. Myrna Chavarria, Commander of the San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter will replace retiring Paul Herrera as State Secretary and Austin Chapter Commander Armando Longoria was elected State Sgt-at-Arms. The New Officers were sworn in Saturday evening at an Awards Dinner by National Commander Angel Zuniga. They officially become members of the Executive board for a one-year term.

On the Women’s Board Sylvia Garza was reelected as State Chair and Jeanie Aleman was elected to replaced Anna Ramirez-Antunes as State Women’s Treasurer.

Commander Martinez and the members offered their gratitude and thanks to outgoing officers Ceasar Ruiz, Paul Herrera and Jesse Aguilera for their services as Board members.

“You all did an outstanding job during your period of service and the entire organization owes you a debt of gratitude” Martinez commended. “We all wish that you will remain active in your new capacities because your service will continue to be needed.”

2017-18 Officers:

Mr. John Martinez, State Commander
Houston Lucian Adams Chapter
Mr. Mario Perales, Vice Commander
Fort Stockton, Chapter
Mr. Justo ‘Howdy’ Leal, 2nd Vice Commander
Port Lavaca, Howdy Leal Chapter
Ms. Myrna Chavarria, Secretary
San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Memorial Chapter
Mr. Gil Rodriguez, State Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Austin Chapter
Mr. Armando Longoria, Sgt-at-Arms
Austin Chapter
Fa. Richard Peña, Chaplain
San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter
Mr. Larry Perez, Immediate Past State Commander
McLellan County Chapter

Mrs. Sylvia Garza, Chairwoman
Sgt. J.P. Nevares Memorial Women
Mrs. Guillerma Morales, Vice Chairwoman
Tarrant County Women
Mrs. Tina Martinez, Secretary
San Felipe Del Rio Women
Mrs. Jeanie Aleman, Treasurer
Greater Houston Women
Ms. Tina L. Olivares, Chairwoman
Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Women

Ms. Laura Herrera, State Youth Chair
Austin Youth Chapter
Mr. Amador Garcia, State Legal Advisor
Corpus Christi Dr. Hector P. Garcia Founder’s Chapter
Mr. Juan Mireles, State Parliamentarian
San Antonio Miguel Hernande Memorial Chapter
Mr. Israel Tames, State Veterans Director
Port Lavaca Justo 'Howdy' Leal Chapter

John Martinez, CommanderOn Sunday, Texas State CEO Gil Rodriguez was re-hired as the State’s Administrator and Lupe Rodriguez was appointed reappointed with the title of Chief Finance Officer. Gil Rodriguez runs the day-to-day operations and is hired by the Executive Board for a one-year term. During the Board meeting he thanked the members for their confidence and will continue to do his best. He presented the state officers with their 2017-18 travel Budget. He reported on the State’s Status as solid and presented several options for increased revenue. Rodriguez has held this position for 10 years.

2017 AGIF TX State Conference - Houston, Texas 



69th Annual Texas State Conference to be June 8-10, 2017 in Houston, Texas

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The American GI Forum Houston Lucian Adams Chapter and the Greater Houston Women’s chapter will be host our 69th Annual Texas State Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, 7979 Willow Chase Blvd, Houston, Texas starting on Thursday June 8th thru Saturday June 10th. Lucian Adams Commander, Jesse Medel and his committee have been planning this conference for almost a year. They will have an assortment of excellent speakers from local state, and National Agencies, and private sector, workshop moderators, exhibitors as well as some other planned activities and entertainment festivities for all to enjoy. Please read related articles on this page.

This year, Texas will have its 2nd Board of Directors meeting on Sunday following the Conference. The budget and other items usually reserved for October will be taking place at that time. The Board of Directors Meeting in October has been eliminated so that the State will only meet twice a year. In June on the Sunday following the State Conference and the other done will be in February. The Winter Board meeting will become known as the annual State Mid-Year Conference. It may be extended to two days if necessary and Sponsors for the Event may be solicited.

The Ft. Stockton Chapter will be hosting the first mid-year Conference in February 2017. Issues, resolutions Constitution amendments and most business of the organization may be discussed and in some cases passed, Other items needing ratification from the membership will be brought before the State Organization at the annual Conference. A complete agenda for both these meetings is required and promised by State Commander John Martinez and the Texas Executive Board.

The Hotel Rates for the State Conference at the Houston Hilton Garden Hotel will be $79.00 Double, $69.00 King and will include full Breakfast (a $15.00) value). You may make reservations by calling directly at (832) 912-1000. Early Registration for the Conference for all members is set at $137.00. After the March 1st Deadline it will become $147.00 per member.

Contact Persons for additional information are: Commander Jesse Medel (713) 575-7080; Jeanie Aleman, (713) 795-1308; and John Martinez, (713) 207-7658. You may also contact the State Office at (512) 992-7066. To access Registration, advertising, and sponsorship forms, click below.

For Information and guests please click here. We will be bringing you Conference updates on this site as we receive them. Please if you have questions, please We look forward to good weather, good comradery and looking forward to seeing many of you sin Houston.

Two Time Grammy Award Winner
Jess Lopez “El Tejano de California” will Headline Houston Conference Entertainment

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: HOUSTON, Texas – The State Conference in June in Houston will be entertained Jess Lopez for almost all events, He will headline the Commander’s Banquet Awards Dinner and will be available at all Luncheons and Receptions.

Jess was born in Santa Ana Calif. and begin playing the drums at the age of 11. His dream was to move to Texas and play for the “King of the Brown Sound Little Joe Y La Familia”. In 1991, he sold his home and quit his job of 11 years with the Santa Ana Unified City School District to follow his dream and moved to Temple Texas. He teamed up with “Rocky Hernandez” and recorded a duet “Al Cortar Una Gardenia” under Sony Disco International. In 1992, Jess recorded backup vocals for “Johnny Hernandez” under Capital EMI label. In 1993, his dream came true and began touring with “The King Little Joe Y La Familia”. Since then he has recorded on 10 of Joe’s CD’s and received four Grammy nominations and Two Grammys.  Jess continued to tour with Joe until 2016 and has since gone solo with his career. He’s recorded four CD’s “Mi Promesa”, “Back on Track” “Forever” and his latest “Mi Vida”

Joe E. Ramirez, Jr. Brigadier General, USA (Ret.) will Keynote the 69th Conference Commanders Banquet

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: HOUSTON, Texas –The American GI Forum Lucian Adams Chapter is proud to announce that Commandant Brigadier General Joe Ramirez is a native of Houston, Texas, will be the keynote speakers at the 69th Annual AGIF Commanders' Banquet taking place on June 9, at the State Conference at the Hilton Garden Inn. General Ramirez is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Texas Aggie Band in the Corps of Cadets. He received his commission in the United States Army Field Artillery from Texas A&M in 1979 as a Distinguished Military Graduate.

“It is a great honor to have Brigadier General Joe Ramirez address our Commanders’ Awards Banquet attendees,” said local Lucian Adams Chapter Commander Jesse Medel. "The General is among the most influential military leaders in the world."

General Ramirez, during his 31 years of military service, General Ramirez commanded soldiers around the world and served in leadership positions in various joint and operational commands. He was the Deputy Chief of Staff for United States Central Command during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and was the Deputy Division Commander for the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. His most recent assignment was Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy for US European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

General Ramirez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Texas A&M (1979); a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri (1993); and a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania (2000).

His numerous military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Korean Defense Service Medal, and the Parachutists Badge.

For more information on the 69th Annual State Conference including the sponsors and registration information, please click here. For up-to-the-minute updates follow AGIF on social media by liking us on Facebook.