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Commander's Message
Vice Commander Ceasar Ruiz Speaks to Battle of Ia Drang Survivors at Gathering of Eagles Meeting 

AGIF Texas, Inc. Report: HOUSTON, Texas – On January 22, 2014, Texas Vice-Commander Cesar Ruiz spoke to a group of Ia Drang survivors and others as the keynote speaker for the veteran organization of the Gathering of Eagles (GOE) located in Houston Texas.

The GOE is an organization that meets for lunch bi-monthly at the Houston Woodridge IHOP to share current veteran / military local events occurring within Texas but focuses on the Houston / Galveston area. GOE consists of over 25 participating Veteran Organizations of which American GI Forum Lucian Adams chapter is one of its participants. Cesar spoke about his role and the benefits of the American GI Forum and the National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP). Texas Commander John Martinez also attended the event. 

The Battle of Ia Drang was the first major battle between regulars of the United States Army and regulars of the People's Army of Vietnam  (PAVN / NVA) of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The two-part battle took place between November 14 and November 18, 1965, at two landing zones  (LZs) northwest of Plei Me in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam  (approximately 35 miles south-west of Pleiku) as part of the U.S. airmobile offensive codenamed Operation Silver Bayonet.

The battle derives its name from the Drang River which runs through the valley northwest of Plei Me, in which the engagement took place. Ia means "river" in the local Montagnard language.

Representing the American forces were elements of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division: the 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, and the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, facing elements of the B3 Front of the PAVN (including the 304 Division) and Viet Cong. The battle involved close air support by U.S. aircraft and a strategic bombing strike by the B-52s.

The initial Vietnamese assault against the landing 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry at LZ X-Ray was repulsed after two days and nights of heavy fighting on November 14–16. However, the follow-up surprise attack on November 17 that overran the marching column of 7th Cavalry 2nd Battalion near the LZ Albany was the deadliest ambush of a U.S. unit during the course of the entire war. About half of some 300 American deaths in the 35-day Operation Silver Bayonet happened in just this one fight that lasted 16 hours

The battle was documented in the CBS special report Battle of Ia Drang Valley by Morley Safer and the critically acclaimed book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. In 2002, Randall Wallace depicted the first part of the battle in the film We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson and Barry Pepper as Moore and Galloway, respectively.

A Happy New Year from our Commander and State Office

AGIF/TX: Austin Texas – Hope you enjoyed a Merry Christmas we wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Lets enjoy our holidays, give thanks for our many blessing, and let us “sow love” and compassion as we continue to celebrate the holidays. Let’s share our goodwill, joy and the spirit of giving. .“For it is in giving that we receive. . .”

We also take this opportunity to thank you for your help, dedication and support of our State Office.  While we wish all of you a Happy New Year, it is also a reminder for all chapter commanders and chairs to inform their members that their membership dues are due on January 1, 2014. All membership dues for Forum, Women and Youth and all other State Assessments are due January 1 and deadline is January 31, 2014.

The National assesses each late chapter a penalty per month on assessments. So send at least all your assessments by then.

Another reminder is from the Texas State Comptroller. We are asking all chapters fill out and submit a 990 Franchise Tax Exempt Form. All chapters must comply with the State Comptroller’s office. Although these are not due until May 15, I must remind you that even if you may not make a lot of money, 990 Forms must be submitted.  If you need help or forms, please contact the state office.

On my behalf as State Commander, the Board, the State office and our families, we pray that happiness may shine on you during the rest of this season of caring and goodwill and that the New Year brings us joy and peace to us all. 

Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe while you enjoy a Happy New Year.

John Martinez, Commander
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.

Growing up in Texas during the Fifties, this is how we would  greet each other during the season of December 24 thru January 1, among my family and friends. Now, we have   Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanza,  Felizidades con Los Tres Reyes and others. I am OK with that, but how much better  “MERRY CHRISTMAS” sounds to me  and when we state it this way we keep the Spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit.

So, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of my American GI Forum Family and Friends. Please be safe,  enjoy your family / friends and  remember to keep Christ during this season.

Your American GI Forum Texas Commander,

John Martinez