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Fort Stockton Mayor and City Manager present at Texas AGIF Mid-Year Conference February 18

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: FORT STOCKTON, Texas The American GI Forum (AGIF) Ft. Stockton Chapter hosted our First Texas Mid-Year Conference and Board of Directors’ Meeting February 17-18, 2017 in Ft. Stockton. This was the first meeting for 2017 of the Texas Organization and the first Mid-Year Conference concept.  As special guest during the general session, were Fort Stockton City Mayor Chris Alexander and City Manager Frank Rodriguez, both spoke to the assembly and commended on the excellent work the GI Forum has done locally and were very impressed with the work the State Organization and the Chapters are doing throughout the State. In an e-Mail sent to the Texas organization Mayor Alexander expressed these thoughts.

“I want to thank the Fort Stockton Chapter for the honor of allowing me to attend the American G.I. Forum State Executive Board Meeting in Fort Stockton. I was very moved by the sheer number of projects this organization is involved with in helping our Veterans. Thank you to each and every member of this great organization for your service to our county and Veterans! God, Bless you!”

–Mayor Chris Alexander, City of Fort Stockton Texas

Commander John Martinez reminded everyone, "This is the first of two scheduled Annual meetings of the Texas Board. At the Board of Directors Meeting in last October it was decided that the State will schedule two Meetings a year. One will be on the Sunday following the State Conference and the other will be scheduled in February and will be known as the Texas Annual Mid-Year Conference."

"The Annual Texas AGIF Mid-Year Conference may be extended to two days when necessary and sponsors for events during the conference may be solicited. After a quorum was established the business of the organization plus new topics and issues were discussed including the a new Region Concept.

"A motion duly made and seconded resulted in that starting with the June Meeting on Sunday June 25 this year, Chapter Commanders and Chairs will be allowed to vote. The Region Commanders and Chairs Concept has been suspended and with the authority given to this body by our state constitution, regions have been declared vacant temporarily in the hope that this new concept will work better because it will improve communications among members and Region meetings will no longer be necessary," continued Martinez, "It has already been approved that the State Budget will be presented at the Board meeting following the conference and reimbursements for travel and for other approved business will be made available to Board members."

Ft. StocktonChapter with ChapterCommanderFreddieMartinez and Event Coordinator, Mr. MarioPerales, plus members of the Chapter did an outstanding job hosting the meeting. A Reception on Friday greeted the delegation with refreshments, food and a great deal of comradery. On Saturday after the morning session a catered Barbecue luncheon by a local restaurant was a big hit.

Reports, schedules and State Business were resolved or scheduled. There weren’t any resolutions but the Chapters were given an opportunity to hear some issued on which resolutions may be authored and presented at the National Mid-year in March or at the State Conference in June.

The Next February meeting will be sponsored by the State office and will be Austin. The site and date to be announced later and will be posted and publicized with plenty of time.

Texas AGIF Mid-Year Conference and Board of Directors Meeting in Ft. Stockton, February 17-18, 2017

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas – The American GI Forum (AGIF) Ft. Stockton Chapter will host our First Texas Mid-Year Conference and Board of Directors’ Meeting February 17-18, 2017 in Ft. Stockton. This is the first meeting for 2017 of the Texas Organization and the first Mid-Year Conference concept.

At the Board of Directors Meeting in October it was decided that the State will have two Scheduled Board Meetings a year. One will be on the Sunday following the State Conference and the other done will be in February and will become the annual Mid-Year Conference.

The Annual Texas AGIF Mid-Year Conference may be extended to two days if necessary and sponsors for events during the conference may be solicited. Issues, resolutions, state and national constitution amendments and other business of the AGIF may be discussed and when appropriate some may be passed. Other items needing ratification from the membership will be brought with recommendations before the State Organization at the Annual State Conference. An agenda at these meetings is required and as directed by State Commander John Martinez one will be available to all attendees at each Texas Board Meeting.

Mr. Mario Perales, representing the Ft. Stockton Chapter with permission from the Chapter and Chapter Commander Freddie Martinez made a bid in Del Rio for the upcoming February meeting and was accepted with the full support of the Board. Since then he has sent information regarding the meeting and we have posted it on our Website and will be mailed to each Board member.

The Hotel selected is the Days Inn wth Room rates for Single/Double at $64.00 with appropriate Taxes for members attending. For reservations call (432) 336-7500. The Business Sessions will be held at the old VFW Hall, 606 e. 6th Street in Fort Stockton.  The Chapter will host meals included with the registration fee. That Registration fee is $35.00 but may change according to the number of meals served.

This is an update from information receive Mario Perales. If you have questions kor need additional information, please call the State office (512) 992-7066 or Mr. Perales at (432) 290-3353. We look forward to good weather, good comradery and looking forward to seeing many of you there. Have a safe trip.

From the Texas State Office–
Report on Fall Board of Directors Meeting Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 in Del Rio, Texas 

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DEL RIO, Texas – The State Board of Director met on October 22, 2016 in Del Rio at the San Felipe Exes Memorial Hall to discuss the 2016-17 Budget, Important issues within the Organization, changes in meetings, and on the upcoming Texas Legislative Session in January 2017.

At the Friday Meeting of the Executive Board the 2016-17 Budget was presented by State CEO Gil Rodriguez was approved. On Saturday the meeting was called to order by State Commander John Martinez. After the usual welcoming ceremonial business, Mr. Gil Rodriguez, State CEO was reelected for another term. The meeting recessed at 9:am to participagte in the "Fiesta de la Amistad Parade" and reconvened at 1:00 pm. (See Photos Below)

The Board enjoyed a catered lunch provided by the Chapter after the parade and before reconvening. The Budget was presented to the full State Board and was ratified and became effective immediately. The Financial Report by the State Office was presented and passed. Paul Herrera reported on the upcoming legislative session and on the importance of participation by the AGIF, The AGIF, he reported has been instrumental in passage of many bills concerning Veterans and Benefits. Officers reports were cut short because of time, but every officer had a chance to give reports on their most important issues. Each officer was asked to submit a written report to the State Secretary.

Also passed was reduction on the number of scheduled Board meetings held. It was decided to try having a Board of Directors Meeting on Sunday following the State Conference in June and another in February of the Following year. The Budget and other financial issues will now be discussed at the June meeting so that the Officers and organization will have the budget and the fiscal year coincide land become accessible for the new board. Budgeted items including officer travel budget will become effective following the Conference each year. In the past the yearly Budget in June, but money would not become available until a budget was passed each October.

The Board also approved funds for our National Legal Defense that will help protect our National Officers with issues that may be pending. We will continue to support the National Organization and will do what we can to stop frivolous law suits and complaints. Texas urges other state to do likewise and help our National Office become more effective.

The newly revised and published Texas State Constitution was distributed to all attendees. Copies are available at the state office will also be mailed to local Commanders and Chairs and to those officers not in attendance at the meeting. The 2017 February Meeting was awarded to Fort Stockton. Information on all meetings and events is forthcoming. Please visit the Website frequently and not most of this information will be on our Facebook page. The subsequent 2017 Board meeting will be in Houston in June on the Sunday following the Conference.

On the social side, The members were invited Friday 21 to the Abrazo Ceremonies at the Del Rio Civic Center between the Mayor of Cuidad Acuna, Mexico and Del Rio, Texas, USA celebrating the anniversary of the opening of Amistad Dam which became know as the Amistad Treaty. AGIF members in attendance were also invited and attended some great local activities that included participation in the Fiesta de la Amistad Parade. Several officers and members participated by riding in two floats put together by the two local chapters.  The Annual Celebration was attended by many local and state dignitaries.

The AGIF members were also invited to the Annual Mayors Dinner, an Annual Event by invitation only. The AGIF was highlighted at all events by being introduced and hailed as true American Patriots. Our thanks to the Dr. Fermin Calderon Chapter and to the San Felipe Women’s Chapter for their hospitality and their hard work in putting this event together, while their building is undergoing repairs. We wish them success and hope they will soon be back in operation with their building. 

Del Rio Meeting and Fiesta!

UPDATE! From the State Office
New Location for Fall Board of Directors Meeting Scheduled for Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 in Del Rio, Texas 

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DEL RIO, Texas – This is an update on the September 29, 2015 Memo for mailed to the American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. The Fall Board of Directors meeting for scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2016 in Del Rio, Texas has been moved to a new location. AGIF Clubhouse located at 411 Morin Street, Del Rio, Texas is under repairs so the meeting had to be moved to the San Felipe Exes Memorial Hall at 339 Mendez St. on the corner of W. Garza St.

There are no changes on the Hotel.  The Ramada Inn Hotel at 2101 Veterans Blvd. is still taking Reservations if you call (830) 775-1511. The rates of $69.95 plus appropriate taxes. These rates were being extended for a few more days. Please make your reservations now to you get the hotel rates.

This is also a rminder that there will be a meeting of the Executive Board at 4 pm on Friday October 21stat the Exes Hall. The business conducted will be later presented to the entire board for ratification on Saturday, so if you are not on the executive board you are not rquired to attend but are welcome.

The AGIF members not attending the meeting are invited to The Abrazo, ceremony at the Civic Center at 4:00 pm celebrating the 56th Anniversary of the signing of the document known as the Amistad Dam Treaty. The Mayor of Del Rio is also inviting the American GI Forum Members as his guests to a reception he is hosting at the El Rio Civic Center at 7:30 pm.

After the reception at the Civic Center there will be an AGIF welcome reception at the hotel.

There will be a Parade on Saturday Morning in which the AGIF has been asked to participate. A breakfast will be served at the San Felipe Exes Memorial Hall at l8:00 am and the meeting will be called to order for pledge and prayer and roll call.

The Parade will begin at 10 A.M. The meeting will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. or immediately after lunch catered at the San Felipe Exes Hall. We will conduct business until business is completed.

Call if you have questions. Drive Safely – Hoping to see you there.

UPDATE! From the State Office
Fall Board of Directors Meeting Scheduled for Saturday, Oct 22, 2016 in Del Rio, Texas

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DEL RIO, Texas –
 The American GI Forum Dr. Fermin Calderon Forum and San Felipe Del Rio Women's Chapter Will be hosting the 2016 Fall Board of Directors’ Meeting at their Clubhouse 411 East Morin in Del Rio on Saturday, October 22, 2016. This is the final meeting of the year for the Texas Organization. A full agenda is promised by State Commander John Martinez and the Texas Executive Board.

Mrs. Tina Martinez has indicated that the Ramada Inn on Veterans Blvd will be offering their Single/Double rooms for $69.95 plus appropriate taxes for all members wishing to get there early. Chapter Commander Jose Martinez will host a meal prepared in-house at the clubhouse Barbecue and grilling area. Rumors are that the meal will include their “Border Famous Cabrito!”

For those wishing to come a few days early or stay a few days longer, Del Rio is the county seat for Val Verde County, Texas and is 152 miles south from San Antonio. It is connected to Ciudad Acuña, Mexico by the Del Rio-Acuña Amistad Dam International Bridge. Del Rio is the home of Laughlin Air Force Base, A USAF training complex. Besides Lake Amistad, San Felipe Springs, Museums and recreational parks there are plenty of other attractions.

The Del Rio Group’s AGIF Clubhouse and American GI Forum Park are popular sites in Del Rio and the AGIF Chapters are well known for their fundraising events and their youth programs including a boxing team. Their gym is a popular attraction for after school activities.

We look forward to good weather, good comradery and looking forward to seeing many of you in Del Rio this October.

From the State Office
Board of Directors Meeting is Scheduled for Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 in San Marcos

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: The First Board of Directors Meeting for 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, February 27, 2015 in San Marcos, Texas.  The Greater SSGT J.P. Navares Memorial Women’s Chapter is hosting the meeting being held at the AGIF Building located at 417 Mitchell Street, San Marcos, Texas.  For complete information call Chairwoman Sylvia Garza at: (512) 757-3416. If you plan to stay Friday night there are a number of Hotels available. The closest hotel to the meeting site is an Econo Lodge 811 S. Guadalupe Street, Exit 204 from I-35. Single $54.39 or Double $59.99. Call (512) 353-5300 or toll free 1-800-553-2666 for reservations. Other nearby hotels are

Motel 6 at 1321 IH 35 North, Exit 206 Call 512-593-4579 or 1-800-466-8356. Single $54.39, double, $71.29.

 Super 8 at 1429 IH North Exit 206 Call: 512-396-0400 or 1-800-800-8000. Single/double: $91.99.

These hotels listed above are close to the AGIF Clubhouse and are on the west side of IH 35. San Marcos has other hotels, but most of them cost from $180.00 to over $200.00 per night.

The Board meeting will start at 10:30 am Saturday. All State Officers, Region Commanders, Chairwomen and Region Youth Chairs must attend. Registration for the meeting is $25.00 per person and includes lunch at noon. A hosted reception will be held for early arrivals at the Clubhouse. The Lunch on Saturday will be catered and will include refreshments and desert. A social hour will follow the meeting for those wishing to stay and visit awhile.

membership applications except for new members. Please use the membership applications that were mailed to you in October, 2015. below are the dues, fees and assessment structure for members and Chapters.

    •  Forum      $20 (National $10.00, State $10.00)
    •  Women    $20 (National $10.00, State $10.00)
    •  Youth       $10.50 (National $5.00, State $5.50)
    •  Life member  $250.00 (National only) $5.00 to state yearly

Annual Charter renewal and State National Assessment fees for 2015 due January 1, 2015 are: 

    •   Forum     $50 (National $25.00, State $25.00)
    •   Women    $45 (National $20.00, State $25.00)
    •   Youth      $35 (National $15.00, State $20.00)

Dues may be payed after October 1, 2015 will stay ineffect until December 31, 2016.  Deadline for submitting dues, fees and other assessments to the State and National is January 20, 2016.  After that date the National will access a penalty of $10.00 per month per chapter. 

We remind you that in order to comply with the constitution, each Forum Chapter must have 8 Veteran members (Chapters with over 10 members may have non-veterans members, but may not exceed 25% of the total membership); 8 Women members constitute a Women’s Chapter; 8 Youth constitute a Youth Chapter. To be eligible to vote or run for office at State & National Conferences chapter charter renewal must be paid. For other requirements, please refer to the constitution.

Transmittal and Charter renewall forms were also e-mailed for downloading to all Chapter Commanders and Chairs that have E-mail addresses. We urge all chapters to have an e-mail address where they can received the latest information. All chapters not having e-mails will continue to receive information via USPS. To provide efficiency and accuracy, all transmittals should be typed, if that is not possible, please print legibly.  All transmittal that are not legible, will be highlighted to show illegible item and will be asked to be resubmitted.  Please list Chapter and members’ names as you would like them to appear on the membership cards.

The following is a list of items needed from each chapter for 2016: 

  1.   Membership Transmittals: lists for Forum, Women’s Forum and Youth separately.
  2.   Lifetime members: $5.00 a year for active members to the state is now required
  3.   Charter Fees: Charter fees may be included with membership fees
  4.   State Assessment of $50.00 per chapter excluding Youth Chapters
  5.   An EIN or Tax ID number must be on record with the State Office
  6.   Each Chapter is required by law to file a 990 report to the IRS by May 15, 2016. Failure to do so will result in loss   of non-profit status and/or Charter.

All new veterans members MUST provide proof of veterans status to local Commander/Secretary when applying. If running or being appointed to any Forum State, Region or local office, proof of veterans status (DD-214, Service ID Card or VA Medical Card) must be provided to state office, the nominations committee or other appropriate committee chair.

Gil Rodriguez, State Executive Secretary-Treasurer
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.


State Board of Directors Met in Port Lavaca Oct. 17.

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. First Board of Directors meeting was held Saturday, October 17, 2015 in Port Lavaca, Texas.  The American GI Forum of Port Lavaca Justo ‘Howdy’ Leal Chapter hosted the meeting held at the GI Forum Hall in Port Lavaca.  Most of the attendees stay at La Quinta Hotel on 910 Hwy 35N.  The meeting as usual had good attendance and the business of the organization was conducted.

Of importance are reports of the 2015 State Conference, which took place in Austin, Texas on June 201. This was the first time the state hosted the conference and the result was that a good profit was made. A brief report was given on the National Conference last July and August in California. The approved constitution will be ready  publishing as soon as it is formatted. Copies will be given to each chapter for distribution according to the number of members listed on the state rosters. Be aware that the constitution is already in effect. There was discussions on many other subjects that the board approved action to be taken. This includes AGIF properties, bingos, halls and other assets.

Executive Committee Officers met Friday evening to discuss provide input and and then approved the 2015-16 Budget. After approval it was presented and ratified by the entire board at the meeting on Saturday Morning during the General Assembly Meeting. A state report with a financial update was presented by the State CEO and was approved.

The Board meeting that started at 10:30 am Saturday with a continental breakfast preceeding. Registration for the meeting is $25.00 per person and included an excellent lunch at noon. 

State and Region Officers’ reports were presented in writing and orally.  Everyone present participate in all discussions but motions and votes were only permitted from Region Commanders or Chairs. Our next Board Meeting in February will be in San Marcos and the 2016 Conference will also be hosted by San Marcos. We hope to see you all there.

State Board of Directors Met in Corpus February 28–

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: (Austin, Texas) This is a brief update on the American GI Forum Board of Directors meeting in Corpus Christi on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at the LULAC Hall on Holly Road.

State Commander John Martinez declared a quorum and after a welcome by host Tina Olivares. The event was well attended and the Coastal Bend Women hosted an excellent meeting with a catered meal for all attendees. A financial and a State of the State report confirmed that all is well according to State Executive Gil Rodriguez. His report which was approved.

Commander Martinez reported on the elections to be held in Del Rio within 30 days after being posted and indicated the day set for the elections would be Friday, April 17 at 7:00 pm. He wants to make sure that all new members were qualified and verified for voting. He contacted the Del Rio Dr. Fermin Calderon Chapter with a memo for a meeting set only for the elections. In September regular elections will take place. He also discussed and was approved to have a permanent Board of Trustees selected for the operation of the Hall and Concessions for said chapter.

Texas Vice Commander Ceasar Ruiz presented a third and final reading on the changes and amendments to the State Constitution. Constitution was approved with minor changes and will be ratified in June at Austin Conference. Once reified, and checked, it will be proof read and will be published with all changes for distribution.

The Greater El Paso Chapter was accepted as a new chapter with Commander David Navares thanking the board and promising more activity from El Paso, Texas area.

The Greater El Paso Chapter joins with Paso del Norte Chapter in El Paso as the two chapters from that Texas far west city. We wish both chapters well in all their endeavors.

Gil Reported on the 2015 Conference in June. Conference is set for Wyndam Hotel in Austin. Registrations will $135.00 for Forum and Women and $110 for youth. Commander Martinez urged that we get behind the State and give them support by attending and helping with whatever is needed. The State will be the host and all profits will go to the state coffers. You will find all the information on our web site.

Commander Martinez, commented, “Texas, the birthplace of the American GI Forum is proud to continue the great tradition with it’s 67th Annual Conference. The State Capitol in Austin is right in the center of Texas proudly welcomes all the delegates from throughout the state.  Austin is the home of the State Office and was once home to the National Office. Its members from 3 chapters, Forum, the Austin Women and the Austin Youth as other chapters throughout the state, have contributed time, resources and energy to the community so that the citizens of the area are assured of opportunities to realize their dreams.

“The State fittingly selected theme Honoring Our State Organization, paying tribute to all our members, the early leaders and members that with their hard work accomplished recognition now enjoyed by all throughout our state. AGIF Texas hard work has helped veterans from the end of WWII to the present.

“We, the State Officers and Executive Board are hosting this Conference and we hope you will all participate. This is the first a Chapter has not been directly involved althought, with the Austin Chapters’ assistance, we hope for nothing less then success. We hope that this posting will give you the information you will need--a complete two day agenda that offers seminars on Veterans Benefits important to all veterans and their families and will feature a host of prominent panels and speakers. Exhibitors from the Hispanic community, state agencies and business community will participate.

“Take advantage of the famous Austin hospitality, enjoy our beautiful state capital city. We welcome your participation for a productive conference and an enjoyable stay with us.” 

Anna Ramirez Antuna gave a report on the upcoming National Mid-year Conference in Fort Worth hosted by the Tarrant County Chapters March 20-22, 2015. She reports all is going well and should have a successful conference. For more information, check this website.

Commander John Martinez declared the Meeting a success and that much was accomplished. He tanked the Board and the assembly decided that the next Board of Directors meeting in October will be in Port Lavaca, Texas. Please support the Organization by attending all sponsored meetings.

  State Board of Directors to Meet in Corpus February 28–

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: Corpus Christi, TX –  The Board of Directors Winter Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2015 in Corpust Christi, Texas. The Coastal Bend Chapter is hosting the meeting being held at the LULAC Hall, 3516 Holly Road, Corpus Christ, Texas 78414.

The Homewood Suites - Hilton at 5201 Crosstown/SH286 in Corpus Christi has Rooms available for the members wishing to arrive early or leave the following day. Queen Studios $119.00; King Study is $134.00 they both include full kitchen plus dinner & breakfast. If you make reservations through Travelocity or priceline.com the rooms are $109.00 per night. Make reservations as early as possible. Call (361) 854-1331 for reservations. You may contact Tina Olivares at (361) 356-5313/(361) 882-3396 Ext 2. You may also contact Mary Ramirez at (361) 779-3353 or (361) 853-7745; Rene Guzman at (361) 510-5048. Tina’s E-Mail is tloemy@yahoo.com

A continental breakfast will be served at the meeting site nearby. An Agenda is being prepared and will be available to all Board members and members attending. New procedures for accepting new members and chapters will be discussed. Also of importance is the National Mid-Year Conference in Ft. Worth on March 18-22, 2015 at the Radison Fossil Creek Hotel. New information on the State Conference, which was scheduled for El Paso and moved to Austin, Texas will take place June 12-16 at the Wyndham Hotel in Austin. Information for these two events can be found on our Website.

The Board meeting will start at 10:30 am Saturday. All State Officers, Region Commanders, Chairwomen and Region Youth Chairs must attend. Registration for the meeting is $25.00 per person and includes lunch at noon. A hosted reception is being planned for early arrivals at the Hotel. Direction to the hotel are posted below. The Lunch on Saturday will be catered and will include refreshments and desert. A social hour will follow the meeting for those wishing to stay and visit awhile.

Directions to Hotel
From I-37 South - Exit to Hwy. 358 East (South Padre Island Drive) approximately 4 miles, exit Greenwood, stay on feeder road. Drive slowly as feeder road curves to the right and the hotel has a shared entrance with IHOP restaurant.

GPS alert: When using GPS please enter the address 5218 Silverberry Drive for directions.

An Update:
State Board of Directors Met in Austin October 25–

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, TX – The AGIF State Board of Directors met Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Austin, Texas.  The State Office hosted the meeting held at the Best Western Hotel on IH 35 South (used to be Clarion). The State also hosted a brief reception at the home of Central Region Commander, Phillip Gutierres. A Texas style Barbeque was served for Lunch the following day.

As is customary, the Executive Board, which is also the Budget Committee, met Saturday morning at 9:00 am before the regular meeting to review the Proposed 2014-15 State Budget. The committee reviewed and approved the 2014-15 budget and presented it to the full Board for ratification. The Budged was accepted and approved as recommended.

Because of being selected as the host chapter of the 2015 National Mid-year Conference, the Ft. Worth Tarrant County Chapter agreed to allow the State Office to host the 2015 State Conference in Austin, Texas. The State Conference that was originally scheduled for El Paso and later moved to Ft. Worth is now settled in Austin.

Conference information such as Hotel Headquarters, accomodations, registration and other logistics have been approved and will be posted on the Web site as soon as a contract is signed with the Austin, Wyndham Hotel. 

State and Region Officers’ reports were presented and the Agenda for the following years was discussed and mostly agreed upon. Brief discussion on Bingo Chapters was also part of the ongoing issues. Income form these chapters have been a very necessary source of income for the State Office and for the most part all have participated in a timely manner. The State office thanks and congratulates these chapters for their efforts and for their contribution to their communities in the forms of scholarships and assistance to families in need. The State Office has the necessary paperwork to help form Bingos in chapters wanting this source of income and requesting assistance. It takes time to handle the paperwork, review the missions and approve chapters for this endeavor.

New Chapters were recommended and the State Executive Secretary will pursue and make the necessary paperwork available to these new groups. Meeting on acceptance of these chapters will take place at our next Board of Director’s meeting. The State office will review and determine whether these chapters qualify and can be recommended to be members of our Texas organization.

Final action on the Texas State Constitution is scheduled for the State Conference next June in Austin. The last reading has been made and voting on amendments and changes will be the top item on that issue.

Chapters are urged to submit their filings to the IRS in time. The deadline is May 15 of 2015. The State office will assist any chapter that need help filing.

We continue encourage our chapters to get their dues and assessments up to date. Let’s keep our organization united, growing and continuing our most valued mission of helping veterans and their families. Thank you for all your support and again my thanks to all of you that continue to help the state and to all the Austin volunteers that help keep our office effective and efficient.

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

Annual State Board of Directors Will meet in Austin October 25–

The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Austin, Texas.  The State Office is hosting the meeting being held at the Best Western Hotel on IH 35 South (used to be Clarion).  There are limited rooms are available for $116.00, single/double so make reservations as early as possible. Remember it is Football season and the Longhorns play in Austin. Call (512) 444-0561 or Fax (512) 444-7254 for reservations.

As is customary, an Executive Board meeting will be held on Saturday morning at 9:00 pm to review the Budget. Members of the Executive Board are required to be present but everyone is welcome. This meeting is to seek approval of our state budget that includes capital equipment expenditures, state office expenses, travel for officers and approval of all bank accounts. We will also review procedures for any emergency expenditure. No other issues shall be discussed during this meeting. The Executive Committee will review and approve the Annual Budget for 2014-15 and will be presented to the full Board for ratification during the General meeting. The room number for this meeting will be posted at the front desk. A continental breakfast will be served.

Also of importance is the State Conference, which was due to be held in El Paso and has been moved to Fort Worth. Discussion will be held to see if Ft. Worth is prepared to host the conference, if not the State will have to assume responsibility and move it to a suitable location.

The Board meeting will start at 10:30 am Saturday. All State Officers, Region Commanders, Region Chairwomen and Region Youth Chairs must attend. Registration for the meeting is $25.00 per person and includes lunch at noon. The menu will be catered and will include refreshments and desert. A social hour will follow the meeting for those wishing to stay and visit awhile.

State and Region Officers’ reports are required to be in writing and copies made available to the State Executive Secretary, the State Commander and other concerned parties.  Region Commanders and Chairs that are unable to attend may send a representative, preferably an officer from said region. Everyone present may participate in discussions but motions and votes are only permitted from Region Commanders or Chairs.

Resolutions submitted for consideration must be typed and copies made available at the meeting. The same applies to Constitution and By-laws changes. The only exception will be emergency resolutions. The Resolutions Committee will determine the urgency of said documents. Final action on any item can only be taken on those allowed by the State Constitution others will be referred to the state conference. Election of the Executive Secretary-Treasurer is scheduled for this meeting.

An agenda, copies of the budget, minutes, resolutions and some reports will be included in the packets for each Board Member or their representatives. For further information please contact the State Office in Austin at (512) 992-7066 direct or Email to stateoffice@agiftx.com

State Board Met in Rockport March 1 –

Most Attended Dedications on Friday, February 28

By Gil Rodriguez

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. – (ROCKPORT, TX) AGIF Region Commander Richard Dominguez and wife, Rockport Women's Chair Anita, and members of the Rockport Chapters hosted the Winter Board of Directors event in Rockport March 1, 2014. The meeting, held annually before our National Mid-year gives AGIF/TX, Inc and Texas Representatives of the National Board an opportunity to discuss items and issues important and relevant to Texas members. Our state Commander, State Chairwoman and State Youth Chair will represent Texas at the upcoming National Mid-year in Las Vegas. Texas has prepared several issues of concern that will be brought before the National Board.

The meeting was well attended by the State’s Executive Committee as well as the Region Commanders, Chairs and Standing Committee Chairs that make up the entire State Board of Directors. State officers and Region Officers gave report presentations on activities in their respective regions. State Executive Secretary Gil Rodriguez reported on the State of the State, Finances, upcoming State and National Conferences and status of our Web Site and other social media. Resolutions supporting MOH recipients were presented and passed. State Legislative Director Paul Herrera made a report on pending state and national legislation, and State Veterans Director Mr. Israel Tamez gave a Veterans update report. Civil Rights Director Robert Ramirez gave a Civil Rights Report

Present at the meeting were National Commander Luis Vazquez Contes and well as our National Chairwoman, Patsy Vazquez Contes.

National Vice Commander Carlos Rivera, National Sgt-at-Arms Ceasar Ruiz, National Women’s Treasurer Betty Manchego, and National Youth Chair Stephanie Lefthand represent Texas on the National Executive Board.

State Commander John Martinez, State Chairwoman Tina Olivares and State Youth Chair Stephanie Lefthand will represent Texas on the National Board at the Mid Year later this month. Also planning to Attend are: State Vice Commander Ceasar Ruiz, State Secretary Paul Herrera and wife Peggy; State Executive Secretary-Treasurer Gil Rodriguez and wife Lupe; State Women’s Secretary Sylvia Garza and husband Freddy; Past National Commander Tony Morales and Wife Guillerma;  

Prior to the Meeting on Friday, February 28, two dedications were held: The Unveiling of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Historical Marker at Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi was attended by many of our members including Ms. Wanda Garcia, Dr. Garcia’s daughter.

Secondly, also well attended, was the dedication of the AGIF Village in Robstown. More information and photos are in separate articles on this site.

Our thanks to our hosts, the Rockport Chapter for their usually great hospitality. Our hosts served tamales as a light Texas breakfast and a large Texas Style Chicken Fried Steak Lunch. Board members and guests were delighted and applauded the lunch. During the meal, National Commander and Chairwoman gave us a status report of the National Mid-year Conference and their concerns on issues still pending.

Information, latest updates on State and National Conferences as well as Hotel Room accommodations can be found on our Website www.agiftx.org or by calling the state office at (512) 225-5888 or E-mail stateoffice@agiftx.com.  

State Board Meeting set for Rockport March 1 - Two Dedications on Friday, February 28

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.: Austin Texas – The State Board of Directors will meet Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the AGIF Rockport Clubhouse, 1911 Hardee St., in Rockport, Texas. I have included a full report of my activities. Please Read my Report Here!

I also want to announce that the Nueces County Historical Commission will be dedicating a Historical Marker honoring American GI Forum Founder, Dr. Hector P. Garcia. The ceremony will take place at Memorial Hospital at 10:00 am. I would like all members to attend this important dedication to our founder. Wanda Daisy Garcia will be in Attendence as will National Commander Luis Vazquez Contes and National Chairwoman Patsy Vazques Contes as well as State and Nationa Youth Chair Stephanie Lefthand. I along with most of the Texas Board of Directors plan to attend.

We will also be attending the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the American GI Forum Village in Robstown. The complex has been under renovation for almost a year. We want as many members who can to please attend this event. It was planned for 11:00 am on the same day as the Historical Marker dedication, Friday, Feruary 28. Walter Martinez, Village manager has promise to delay the dedication as long as he can. There will be another dedication for Children at 3:00 pm that same day at the Village Center. Cake and refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend. You will at least see the finished modern complex with its many modern upgrades.

AGIF and Community Award Recipient and long-time Region Commander Richard Dominguez and wife, Rockport Women's Chair Anita, will be hosting the Winter  Board of Directors event. They will be serving a light breakfast and lunch to the attending Board members and guests. I, State Commander John Martinez and Chairwoman Tina Olivares are working on the agenda for the meeting. Items to be discussed are the State Conference in June, the National Midyear Conference in Las Vegas in March and the 66th National Conference in San Antonio, Texas hosted by the Austin Women and AGIF/TX Inc. this Summer.

Information on Room Reservations, please note the following: Days Inn, 1212 East Laurel Street, Rockport, TX 78382 has rooms at $72.00 per night. Americas Best Value, 901 Highway 35 N, Rockport, (361) 727-0283 has King for $75.00 and double for $85.00. For America, you can make reservations on line by clicking: http://www.americasbestvalueinn.com/search_map.cfm .

For more information please call the State Office or email: stateoffice@agiftx.com -- Infomration and updates will be posted on this site.

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

Commander’s Activity Report: Winter BOD’s Meeting
February 25, 2014

Greetings Fellow Forumeers, Women and Youth chapters and friends.

As we prepare to convene in Rockport for our stated BOD’s meeting, every American GI Forum member / constituent has the opportunity to be part of history by attending the two major events occurring on Friday, February 28, 2014. First, the Historical Marker honoring our founder, Dr. Hector P. Garcia, that will be unveiled and displayed in Corpus Christi at the Memorial Hospital. Second, the ribbon cutting of the American GI Forum Village Housing located in Robstown TX. I and most of our state officers will be attending the event(s). I look forward to seeing as many of you there. You will find the location and times in your state web site, http://www.agiftx.org/index.php?page=two.dedications and http://www.agiftx.org/index.php?page=two.dedications#village.

In September, Judge Abraham Ramirez, one of three founders of the Lucian Adams Chapter passed and was buried in San Antonio, which I attended. After the funeral, I traveled to Corpus Christi to attend a Gold Mother’s ceremony sponsored by the Beatrice Perez Women Chapter recognizing the area mothers that had lost their son or daughter in war or conflict.

On Friday, November 8, I attended the NVOP Stand-down in San Antonio joined by Vice Commander Ceasar Ruiz, State Secretary Paul Herrera, Chaplain Father Pena, Sgt-at-Arms Roy Reyes and State Exec Gil Rodriguez. The Stand-down was a great success with over 800 homeless participating. Congressman Lloyd Doggett made an appearance and spoke briefly to the many attendees. Carlos Martinez, his staff and the San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter did an outstanding job providing services to all attendees.

On Saturday, November 9, I was the keynote speaker for the Howdy Leal Chapter in Port LaVaca during the Veteran’s weekend celebration. After the annual parade thru the city, we convened at the chapter hall, where Past Vice-National Commander Angel Zuniga presented a Victoria student and teacher with an award for their effort in creating a collage of Dr. Hector’s lifeRead the complete story and view the photos on our website. http://www.agiftx.org/index.php?page=vets.day.parade

On January 17, 2014 at the Harold T. Branch Academy in Corpus Christi, I and National Commander Luis Vazquez-Contes, Vice Commander Carlos Rivera, National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez-Contez, National and State Youth Chair Stephanie Lefthand, State Chairwoman Tina Olivares, State Executive Gil Rodriguez, State Legal Advisor Amador Garcia and local and commanders and chairs from state-wide area chapters attended and participated with the Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter during their annual Veteran’s Scholarship Awards Ceremony. This day was Dr. Hector’s 100th birthday anniversary. You can view pictures and additional information in your our website, http://www.agiftx.org/index.php?page=forum.news.

On January 22, 2014, I volunteered Texas Vice-Commander Cesar Ruiz as the keynote speaker to a group of Ia Drang survivors and others 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).

On February 10, 2014, Honorable Leticia Van de Puttee was the keynote speaker for the 50th Anniversary of LULAC Council 402 held in Houston TX of which I attended. Mamie Garcia and her husband Julian Garcia, now deceased and both Lucian Adams chapter members, started this council. When Senator Van De Putte entered the banquet room she came directly to our table, recognizing my American GI Forum cap and presented me and John Aleman with a medallion when she was acting as Texas Governor on May 4, 2013.

Lucian Adams Commander Justo Garcia and member Frank Colmenero and I are sponsoring and participating with the Gathering of Eagles Organization in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, (STEM) seminar to motivate and inspire LOTC and ROTC students to consider STEM as their major / career. This will be held on March 22, 2014. We are targeting over 400 students.

I am looking forward in seeing every Region Commander and the Executive Board of Directors in Rockport TX.  We have much to discuss and needing your input for a successful meeting with issues regarding our constitution, state and national Conference, and other pressing items.

Yours in American GI Forum,

Commander John Martinez