The United States and Texas flags waved beautifully in front of the bell tower at Texas A&M University-Kingsville during the Student Veteran Association’s second annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony.
To enlighten young minds about Veteran’s Day, the Student Veteran Association created a Veteran’s Day essay contest at Solomon P. Ortiz Intermediate School in Robstown.
Maria Torbush, president of SVA, presented the contest winner, fourth grader Karina Ybarra, with a certificate and prize.
Ybarra wrote about her grandfather Robert Barrera, army veteran.
“Before I did this, I never gave much thought to Veteran’s Day. It was just another holiday that we celebrated and veterans would come to school to be recognized. It didn’t have much meaning to me until my mom told me about my grandpa serving in the army during the Vietnam War,” Ybarra said.
Ybarra told the audience about her grandfather and his awards including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
“I am very proud of him because he saved many lives while risking his own. I’m glad he survived because without him, my family wouldn’t have existed. I see Veteran’s Day so differently now,” she said.
TAMUK President Dr. Steven Tallant, the guest speaker, shared the history of Veteran’s Day and shared his experience as a veteran.
“Think of all those people world-wide that are out there serving and separated from their families. We owe the families something. Without their family’s support, we would not have a strong nation that we have,” Tallant said.
Student veterans expressed their gratitude for a ceremony celebrating their service.
TAMUK Criminology major Timothy Benavidez, Lance Corporal, has been with the reserves for four years and said it felt great to see the university showing appreciation for his service.
“It’s good to spread awareness and to remember what veterans have done for our country,” Benavidez said.
The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Music Department provided the music for the event.
A reception was held in the Founder’s room after the ceremony.