Antonio ‘Tony’ Gil Morales Honored at American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Conference
Tony Morales has devoted much of his adult life to this organization. He has served in many capacities–as member, officer and mentor since 1961. Tony is a Cold War Veteran who served in the Air Force. After being honorably discharged and along with other early Mexican-American Veteran leaders, he was a trailblazer of the Mexican-American Veteran Civil Right’s Movement. First in Texas and later Nationally.
Since 1961, Tony has been dedicated and committed to Veterans at local, state and national levels. After serving as local chair (only Chairmen at that time, no commanders) He Served as Texas Vice Chair 1972-73; Texas Chairman, 1973-75; National Chairman 1974-78; HEF Executive Director, 1978-1996; National Executive Director 1990-98; and (now named commanders) National Commander again 2003-2007
He also served as the first and only compensated National Executive Secretary for 8 years at the National Headquarters in Austin, Texas. He opened and operated the most successful National office in our history. He secured funding for the office and staff at times up to 6 staff people.
Early, he and other Mexican-American Leaders were invited by the White House to discuss issues of the Spanish speaking. He met with several different Presidents helping and making them aware of unique issues confronting the Spanish-speaking. He was one of the Mexican American Leaders that met with Ford, Clinton, and later with George W. He has been invited and attended several presidential inaugurations and has a long history of meeting Congressional and Agency leaders on both sides of the aisle in Washington D.C.
He played a role in the funding that prepared the American GI Forum for what was to become the American GI Forum Flagship, the National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP). Tony has served as a board member and chairman of SER, HACR, and the NVOP and also served on numerous other Boards. He has visited with the Presidents of Mexico as member of delegations to the Esquadron 201 Ceremonies held yearly in Mexico City.
Tony is a recipient of many awards and honors, from the AGIF, the community, the state and the nation. We cannot name all his accomplishments, but for all his work he has gained a tremendous amount affection and respect among elected and corporate leaders. As chair of the coalition of the national Latino group, he was among one of the community leaders that convince the census bureau to utilize the term Hispanic to identify our community in order to qualify for Federal funds.
But Tony has not been alone. Tony and Guillerma, husband and wife team, two people who with devotion and respect for their fellow man dedicated themselves to a life of service--have made a difference in the lives of many. Their son Tony Jr. also joined in and served as National Youth Chair while a young man. He is now a member of the Tarrant County Chapter.
So while we celebrate our AGIF Legends we are taking time to honor and salute Antonio Gil Morales for the passionate dedication, hard work, and the tremendous amount of service he has given to and on behalf of the American GI Forum of Texas and the United States.
Thank you Antonio!