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Fort Stockton DonationCasa Trevio Anniversary |  Casa Trevino Photos | Miguel Hernandez ChapterFiestas PatriasHouston/SBOE Press Conference | Veteran & Youth Technology

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.

I have spoken with him and found him in good spirits. He did not go into detail about the accident nor did I ask for any specifics. My concern was his recovery and return to normal.  He told me that he be starting therapy this coming week on Tuesday. He did not say when he would be released but may be at least a month. We will keep you updated.

He asked me to thank all who thought and prayed for him. He is able to receive visitors but call before you go because he is having rehab. If you can also send him a card to help keep his spirits up.

We’re all looking forward to his full recovery.

AGIF Fort Stockton Chapter Receives 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. A portion of that money will go to the AGIF Heroes Lodge Foundation to help with their state-wide Veterans assistance program. The American GI Forum Heroes Lodge Foundation is a 501c3 affiliate of the American GI Forum State organization. The Foundation is located in Austin Texas.

The donation was presented at the VFW building, 208 East 63rd St., in Odessa, TX on Saturday, March 16.

In a statement, State Commander Ceasar Ruiz said, “The AGIF State Organization is grateful and is honored to thank Commander Reed and the Permian Basin DAV Chapter 58 for their generous contribution to a very worthy and noble cause. The state also thanks Fort Stockton Chapter Commander Alfredo Martinez and State 1st Vice Commander Mario Perales, for their effort in continuing with the American GI Forum mission.”

Beatrice T. Perez Robstown Women’s Chapter Host 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. (CLICK TO SEE PHOTOS BELOW)

This year’s event was no different than past events which brings together educators, veterans, parents and students to improve the quality of education in classrooms, encourages students to attend school daily, and most importantly to stay in school and make the effort to move on to higher education.  

The event was hosted by Ms. Leslie E. Cristan, Chairwoman, Beatrice Perez Chapter with Event Coordinator Patsy M. Vazquez Contes serving as M.C. . Participating Sponsors included HEB, Citgo, AEP Texas, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, the City of Robstown, St. Benedicts, Hoe Health Inc. G&L Graphic Design, and the Port of Corpus Christi.

“This Event would not be possible without these sponsors that continue to assist us year after year. We thank them all and those that participate in so many other ways. We also want to thank our special Guests and speakers, Mr. Jesse Rojas who served as our Keynote; Mr. Julio Reyes Vice President, External Affairs; Ms. Rosie Collin, Community relations, Port of Corpus Christi; and scholarship presenters: Dr. Kelly Quintanilla Interim President CEO of Texas A&M, Corpus Christi; Ms. Gina L. Sanchez, HEB Public Affairs Gulf Coast; and Mr. Herman Rodriguez, City of Robstown Chief Administrator,” said Chairwoman Leslie Cristan.

“Understanding the importance of a higher education; of providing worldly knowledge; paving the way for a successful career; and wanting part of the American Dream is what the American GI Forum wants to instill in our youth,” continued Event Coordinator Patsy M. Vazquez. 

This year the Beatrice T, Perez chapter's awards included 3 high Schools, Robstown High School West Oso High School and Foy H. Moody High School. Four elementary Schools, J.A. Garcia, Fae Webb, Lost Encinos Ses and Travis Elementary School. 

This year’s recipients were Anthon Lopez, grandson of Oscar Guerra (Guerra was a pioneer and commander of the Dr. Hector P Garcia Founding Chapter); Jacob Olivares, a biochemistry major at Texas State; Jason Sullivan, a Veteran with two daughters and currently attending Del Mar College with plans to attend Texas A&M Corpus, Christ next fall and Andres Mendoza, who has been an honor student since Kindergarten plans to use his scholarship to pursue a college education which will lead to a successful career.

So how important is technology in education? In the past, learning and education simply meant face-to-face lectures, reading books or printed handouts, taking notes and completing assignments generally in the form of answering questions or writing essays. For this reason, besides the Scholarships given to the above recipients, the schools also received 20 Laptops and 32 Galaxy Tablets and 4 $750.00 Scholarships to Veterans and their families and one scholarship in memory of Dr. Xico P Garcia from the Beatrice Perez Chapter which goes to assist the recipient students with their education.

Today, education and training have taken on a whole new meaning. Computers are an essential part of every classroom and teachers are using DVDs, CD-ROMs and videos to show students how things work and operate. Students can interact with the subject matters using such web based tools with their laptops and tablets. Technology enhances children’s education so that each student can progress at his/her own pace.  

The AGIF will continue to support our community with financial resources and technology equipment that will allow our veteran community, their families, students and students with learning disability to climb the ladder of success. 

Chairwoman Leslie E, Cristan and Event Coordinator Patsy Vazquez Contes take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, educators, community leaders and attendees who support our work of offering educational opportunities for all students. We take this opportunity to Congratulate, the chapter their sponsors and the recipients. Well Done! 

Veterans & Youth Education & Technology Program

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Houston AGIF Chapters Enjoyed an Eventful 2016

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: HOUSTON, Texas – The Houston Lucian Adams Chapter and the Greater Houston Women’s Chapter have had a busy 2016 year. Chapter Commander Jesus Medel and his troops participated and sponsored events for the Houston Community.

“It was a good year for our members here in Houston,” said Medel, “We want to share with all of you our 2016 memories. Here are some of the activities which our chapters sponsored and some we have participated in since the June, 2016 Conference in San Marcos. Included below the article are photos of each event mentioned.”

AGIF and AGIF/NVOP Standow
Over 800 homeless veterans gathered at Emancipation Park in Houston for their Annual Stand Down the first week in October, 2016. Marcelo Uriegas, Lucian Adams Chapter Houston, and with National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP) staffed an informational booth and assisted by the American Legion and Lucian Adams members. Veterans were treated to breakfast, lunch, along with information on benefits and resources to find employment. Marcelo also provided men's suits donated by the Men's warehouse.

Texas Hispanic Council on Aging – Senior and Veteran Expo
At the Humble, Texas Civic Center, Lucian Adams Chapter members participated in the 2nd Annual De Corazon a Corazon Senior and Veteran Expo on Texas Hispanic Council on Aging. Member Judge Armando V. Rodriquez, Harris County Justice of the Peace provided the Welcome; Member Justo Garcia Sr., gave the invocation; and Women member Dolores “Dee” Leal gave the President’s remark. 

This event is to honor and show respect to our community’s older adults and veterans. Information and resources for older adults, caregivers, and those who work with them was provided. 

The Texas Hispanic Council on Aging’s (TXHCOA) mission is to promote the well-being of Texas’ seniors through education and advocacy. 

For over 20 years, the National Hispanic Council on Aging, Texas Chapter, provided support to Houston’s growing Hispanic community. In 2014, the chapter evolved into the Texas Hispanic Council on Aging, and under new leadership, the organization continues to provide information to the community while celebrating the diverse background of its Hispanic citizens.

Thanksgiving Fest
On November 20, 2016, American GI Forum Chapter Lucian Adams Members, John and Jeanie Aleman and State Commander John Martinez participated with the Hispanic Organization of Postal Employees (HOPE) to provide a Thanksgiving meal in a bag for 100 families. The bag consisted of cans of corn, green beans, cranberry, boxes of cornbread stuffing, and a $10-dollar bill for the purchase of a Turkey.

Since 1985, HOPE has provided Thanksgiving meals for Houston’s needy with all the trimmings, serving as many as over 1,000 meals. This year their main caterer was not able to sponsor them. But this did not stop HOPE to change strategies and still provide families to invest a little time to cook their Thanksgiving meal at home. “Next year we plan to find another sponsor to continue our tradition”, stated Victoria Davila, President of HOPE. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! 

2016 Veteran’s Parade - Houston
Lucian Adams Houston Chapter of the American GI Forum of Texas participated in the Veteran’s Day Parade on November 11, 2016 held in Houston, Texas. 

The chapter had strong support for this parade from our membership and community supporters. Members Refugio Jauregui, Rosa Jauregui, Marcelo Uriegas, and Vice-Commander Dr. Antonio Gonzalez, and Chapter Commander Jesus Cantu Medel all participated.  Marcelo acquired a pick-up truck with a trailer borrowed from Member Frank Martinez; Frank also loaned us his 1949 Pontiac car, driven by his son, Frank Jr. 

Parade route started at the steps of City Hall with welcomes to all veterans by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, city council members, and other dignitaries.  The parade continued down the streets of downtown. Ninety-four(94) year old Marcos Barelas, a WWII US Army veteran who was stationed in China, Burma and India, and is one of the few surviving veterans of the  Merrill’s Maruaders campaign. Marcos Barelas’ physical status is as best as could be expected. He sat in the trailer that was pulled by the pick-up truck. He voiced no complaints and was very active by throwing candy to the parade bystanders. He was accompanied by his son as well. Given the rarity of Mr. Barelas’ military history, he has always been a humble and community-sensitive person. 

The chapter’s participation in the Veteran’s Day Parade has continued for many years, and this years was special in many respects.  

“I will never forget the participation of my father, Jesse Manriquez Medel, regarding his participation in the WWII theater. I remembered him at the parade, as he has been deceased since 1984”, remembered Commander Jesus Medel. 

Houston 2016 Event Photos

Casa Trevino in Dallas Celebrates 30th Anniversary—Tony and Guillerma Morales Honored 

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: DALLAS, Texas – Casa Trevino, an American GI Forum Housing for senior citizens celebrated its 30th Anniversary of serving Dallas area seniors. Robert Ramirez Dallas Commander and the Dallas Forum with Chairwoman Linda Ramirez (also Manages Casa Trevino) and the Dallas Women’s Chapter served a luncheon to celebrate the occasion.

Casa Trevino (American G.I. Forum Housing Inc.) celebrated their 30th Anniversary on October 28, 2016. The celebration too place at their location at 1901 W. Davis Street, Dallas Texas 75208. The program was from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and included lunch.

In 1986, under the leadership of Dallas AGIF Commander Brownie Trevino, Casa Trevino was opened to seniors. Casa volunteers and the local American G.I. Forum Board Members for Casa Trevino were recognized for their continuous contributions and achievements.  American G.I. Forum members; John Gonzales and Trini Garza were recognized for lifetime community achievement.

Antonio Morales and Guillerma Morales long-time Dallas-Fort Worth area members were also recognized for their lifetime of dedication of helping veterans, promoting youth education and for all their work with the American GI Forum. They both have been recognized at AGIF State and National Events.

In addition, during this event The Dallas AGIF Chapters recognized the Dallas Mexican American Historical League for their successful programs and activities that document and record Dallas Mexican American History.  

Among the invited guests were U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey, State Representative Roberto Alonzo and County Commissioner Elba Garcia. Also from the American GI Forum were State Commander John Martinez, State and National Sgt-at Arms Jesse Aguilera and his wife Terri, Texas State CEO Gil Rodriguez and his wife Lupe.

We Congratulate the Casa Trevino Retirement Community for their 30 years of service, all the awardees and especially Tony and Guillerma Morales for their continued hard work and dedications in their communities and for the American GI Forum. 

Casa Trevino 30th Anniversary


San Antonio Miguel Hernandez Chapter Presents Henry B. Gonzalez Elementry School with Donation 

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: SAN ANTONIO, Texas – On Sept 1st the Miguel Hernandez Chapter presented a $1000.00 check to Henry B Gonzalez Elementary from the Edgewood School District. The check was presented to School Principal Mario Goss. In attendance at the presentation were the district director of curriculum, and the district public relations officer. The check was presented before one of the school's 5th grade classes.

The entire staff was very appreciative and could not thank the GI Forum chapter enough. They were totally taken by surprise on their school being selected as the recipient. As explained by the Principal, the donation was what needed for the school to kick start his vision of building an Amphitheater for the school. The Principal told chapter members that he would update them on the progress of the Amphitheater protect.

Chapter members making the donation presentation were Chapter Commander Myrna Chavarria, Chapter Vice-Commander Rudy Martinez and Chapter member Roy Reyes.  

Annual Houston Fiestas Patrias Breakfast to Honor Hispanic of the Year September 8

Parade Followed on Saturday September 17

This is the 48th Annual Fiestas Patrias Distinguished Hispanic Award that was established to honor the individuals who have made substantial contributions for the progress of the Hispanic community. This effort was undertaken to recognize and thank these individuals for their initiative and sacrifices. Most importantly, it is to instill community pride and highlight the recipients as role models for our youth. Fiestas Patrias is the only primer organization that has established this meritorious award to Hispanics.

Judge Armando V. Rodriguez, Fiestas Patrias Founder, stated, "The beauty of our culture, the grandiose of our people, and the magnificent of our traditions is instilled in everyone of our Distinguished Hispanic of the year."

Congratulagions to our friend, Uivision Hoiuston's Director of Community Empowerment Grace Olivares. She is the 2016 rRecipient of the Fiestas Patrias Distringuished Hispanic Award. While she was unable to attend the event, Fiestas Patrias founder Judge Arando Rodriguez, Harris Counthy Judge Ed Emmett, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, and GI Forum's Johnny Mata accepted on her behalf.

Leaders of the community, businesses and politicians gathered Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the White Hall Hotel, 1700 Smith Street, at 8:00 am to pay tribute to the recipient of this prestigious award.

John L. Martinez, American GI Forum State Commander was the recipient of this prestigious award in 2015. Other past recipients include, Commission Sylvia R. Garcia, Marcelo Marini formerly media coordinator for Univision, Ninfa Laurenzo from Ninfa's restaurants, Johnny Mata American GI Forum Media Coordinator, Felix Fraga former city council member, Lupita Quintanilla, Vietnam Veteran Richard Perez, and Constable Victor Trevino.

Judge Rodriguez said, " Let no one doubt that we embrace the grandiose life in these United States of America with passion and care."

The Houston Lucian Adams Chapter and the Greater Houston Women's Chapter members participated in the Annual Fiestas Parade on September 17, 2017. See photo below.


The American GI Forum Urges Texas State Board of Education to Reject Textbook on Mexican Heritage

American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: (Houston Texas) The American GI Forum (AGIF), Lucian Adams Chapter, vehemently urges the Texas State Board of Education to reject the textbook "Mexican American Heritage," that is considered for use during the 2017 school year.

We base our disgust on the current wording of this book that portrays the Mexican American community in a negative manner and its content does not reflect this community’s social, political, and artistic contributions to the U.S.

The American GI Forum, Lucian Adams Leadership in scheduled a news conference urged the Texas State Board of Education to Reject the Textbook on Mexican Heritage. The news conference took place Monday, September 12, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. In front of City Hall Houston, Texas. Chapter Command, Jesus Medel, State Commander John Martinez, and Chapter Media Coordinator Johnny Mata represented the Chapter.

The AGIF believes and wants to include the immense contributions by Latino war veterans that are not adequately covered in the proposed textbook, and it will deny Mexican-American students who represent over half of Texas' 5 million public school students these facts. Based on an informal survey our membership has conducted among Houston Community College students, over 90% cannot name at least one Latino war veteran who has been awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor, and this lack of knowledge among our youth is what the American GI Forum is trying to have included. In other words, we insist on a text on Mexican Americans that clearly and adequately covers the history of our Latino war veterans.

The portrayal of the Mexican American community in a negative manner by the mentioned textbook will have multi-generational adverse effects which is contrary to our nation’s cultural democracy. Before the book’s final approval fjrom the Texas Board of Education, they must use prudent and educationally-sound decisions that will not offend groups today or in the future. The minds of our youth who aspire to pursue academic study to enhance their cultural understanding of the Mexican American community must be offered our true and complete history.