For the second year, the Premont Chamber of Commerce held a Veterans Day ceremony at Jim Wells County Park in Premont.
“We’re honoring all our veterans that served. Everything comes from our hearts and it means the world to us. Because of them, we are here,” said Chamber of Commerce President Sylvia Johnson.
About a dozen or so local veterans were in attendance, all representing different generations. with some also taking the trip in from Falfurrias. Some of those veterans shared their reasons for enlisting in the military.
“I was fresh out of high school, some friends of mine talked me into it, and I never regretted it. I joined the Marine Corps in 1967,” said David Carbajal, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam. Carbajal was injured in the line of duty, and discharged due to his disability.
“I served because I felt in my heart it was something to do. It’s something honorable you want to do for your country, and you never forget it. It’s a good experience,” said Fred Gutierrez, who served in the US Army from 1995-2001.
One veteran in attendance was Raul Perez, who served in the Marine Corps for nine years.
“I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to be a Marine. I served two years in China. When I came back, I went to Korea. When I came back from Korea, I was supposed to be discharged, but I re-enlisted,” Perez said. “It’s something that you have to do with your heart in your hand, because you have to defend your home, your family, and others too.”
When veterans get together, they are able to share stories with people who have similar experiences to them.
“Every veteran knows you feel at home when you connect with another veteran. You hold that pride for years to come, no matter how many years go by, and that’s the best thing about being a veteran, is serving,” Gutierrez said.
The Premont Veteran’s Association, partnered with the Celanese Veteran’s ERG, will be presenting the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Premont on Saturday, Nov. 14. The event is free, open to the public, and running from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by the Premont Municipal Court. General Marc Cisneros is the guest speaker, and will be speaking at 11:15 a.m..