Veterans from across the U.S arrive at Humble Civic Center for Warriors Weekend
Residents eagerly awaited the arrival of over 300 veterans from across the country to the Humble Civic Center on Thursday. People from around the Lake Houston area created a “hero’s welcome” to kick off the start of Warriors Weekend.
Since 2007, Warriors Weekend has brought in veterans from across the country to Texas to honor them for all the sacrifices they have made and to give citizens an opportunity to participate in the event.
Volunteers picked up veterans from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and the William P. Hobby Airport and brought them to the Humble Civic Center.
The 300-plus veterans filled 10 buses and were greeted by residents donning red, white and blue in addition to a big smile.
It was a first for some residents attending this patriotic event, while others have become regulars.
Several Girl Scouts from Troop 118021 were at the civic center to show their support to the veterans. This was Girl Scout Olivia Salazar’s second time attending the event.
“We want to help support the people who have helped support our country, and we did this last year and it was a blast,” Salazar said. “They supported our country and they helped our country, and this is just a way to say thank you.”
Several local veterans were in the crowd of supporters as well waiting to greet their fellow brothers and sisters.
One of them was VFW Post 6010 Commander Steve Benavides, a veteran of the Vietnam War who served in the Army. Benavides is also a former Houston Police Department Officer and a member of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club-Houston Chapter.
Benavides remembers when he came back to the United States at the end of the Vietnam War and the negative greeting his fellow soldiers received with people booing and throwing things at them.
Benavides has been welcoming fellow vets for the past six years at this event.
“Being a veteran, that’s why I’m here, to honor the veterans we have now because that means a lot to me being a Vietnam veteran,” Benavides said. “When we came back from Vietnam we were booed. We didn’t get any welcome home.”
Like many residents, it was a first time for the veterans to attend Warriors Weekend, while others have been coming back for years.
One Air Force veteran named Sarah Page from Virginia, said this is her fourth time coming to Texas to be a part of Warriors Weekend.
Page served in the Air Force from 2008-2011 as an air traffic controller.
Page said she got injured during her basic training and now suffers from nerve damage after a couple of failed surgeries.
Page said she has been attending Warriors Weekend for the past couple of years because it’s an amazing opportunity.
“You will never see anything like this anywhere except Texas,” Page said. “Warriors Weekend is a group family. The staff that puts it on—from the board members to the volunteers to the president of the company—everyone treats you like family.”