Community remembers fallen Vietnam vets
A silver bell rang 28 times Friday afternoon as 28 red and blue star-shaped balloons were released to the heavens for the 28 Brownsville men who never came home from Vietnam.
During a solemn ceremony hosted by HomerHannaHigh School and organized by Warriors United, family members of the fallen, Vietnam veterans, school children, community members, members of local and federal law enforcement, and public officials gathered to honor those who died and those who are still living.
The is the second time Warriors United has organized the special program and it comes on the heels of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, which is held on March 29, the day the war ended.
For Teri Alarcon, BrownsvilleIndependentSchool District area assistant superintendent, the event held a special place in her heart.
“We are doing this for one thing, to never forget,” Alarcon said, explaining that her father was a Vietnam veteran who was proud to be an American.
She said her father never bragged about medals and she never even knew he had earned medals until after he died.
“He was so proud of this country and didn’t take anything for granted because he fought,” Alarcon said.
She told the crowd a story about how her father yearned to go to WashingtonD.C. to visit the Vietnam War Memorial. The family made that trip a year before he died.
“He touched the name Abelardo Vera, the name of his buddy,” Alarcon said, her voice quavering, while standing before the Vietnam memorial plaque, which has Vera’s name etched on it, at Hanna. “There was something solemn in that moment.”
Reflecting on her father’s service and the sacrifice that so many Vietnam vets made, she thanked the crowd in attendance for their service.
“But now my dad is gone, but the values y’all installed in this community are still here,” Alarcon said.
Approximately 2.7 million Americans fought in Vietnam with around 304,000 coming home wounded and another 58,148 who died in combat.
Remembering the Fallen
These are the names of the Brownsville soldiers who did not come home from Vietnam:
Benito V. Alaniz, Oct. 18, 1968
Jose Francisco Arroyo, June 20, 1969
Alberto Angel Avalos, June 26, 1966
Claude Cole Jr., Nov. 20, 1968
Alberto Dueñes Jr., Nov. 11, 1968
Carlos Albert Estrada Jr., March 19, 1970
Roberto C. Flores, July 21, 1970
Francisco Garcia, Feb. 22, 1967
Atanacio Gomez Jr., April 13, 1968
Gordon Eldon Gullett, May 26, 1966
Jesus Mejia, May 14, 1968
Antonio Morales, Jr., Oct. 17, 1967
Walter Stephen Mullen, June 5, 1972
Jimmy Lee Myers, Feb. 24, 1969
Anthony Perez, Oct. 18, 1967
Israel Perez, May 5, 1968
Jose Manuel Perez, July 28, 1970
Daniel Zachary Post Jr., July 31, 1966
Teofilo Carmone Rios, Nov. 15, 1966
Roberto Rocha Jr., June 18, 1966
Miguel Ruvalcaba-Lopez, May 5, 1968
Ramiro Lopez Salinas, Aug. 4, 1968
Jose Carlos Santos, Nov. 13, 1968
Esteban Angel Trevino, May 12, 1969
Abelardo Vera, March 20, 1968
David Edward Williams, April 22, 1969
Benigno Zamudio Jr., Nov. 14, 1970
James Albert Champion, M.I.A., declared killed in action