Today, we celebrate Veterans Day. There is perhaps no greater sacrifice that an American can make than serving in our nation’s military. From turning the tide at the Battle of Marne in World War I to stamping out terrorism in the deserts of the Middle East, millions have sacrificed so that we and others around the world can enjoy the blessings of liberty.
The 17th Congressional District is home to over 42,000 veterans. They represent the best of what we as a nation stand for. In addition to serving our country in times of war and peace, they are fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters who serve as role models for future generations.
I ask that you please join me in taking a moment to thank our veterans for their service, their commitment, and their sacrifice. Let us remember that their sacrifice is not limited to just the battlefield. Our veterans’ families endured countless sacrifices at home--from not being able to share in their children’s first steps and graduations, to missing Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with family members. My friend and fellow Texas colleague, Congressman Sam Johnson, a veteran who is a true American hero, is known for saying, “When one member joins, it is the whole family that serves.” Let us never forget that fact.
Congressional Veteran Commendations
In addition to paying tribute to all of our veterans, today, I am honoring 12 deserving veterans with the TX-17 Congressional Veteran Commendation. Since 2012, we have been awarding veterans, who were nominated by local constituents, with this unique commendation to show our appreciation for their service to our nation and our communities. As in years past, the 2016 recipients of the TX-17 Congressional Veteran Commendation hail from all over the 17th Congressional District. The recipients served in conflicts spanning over three generations – from World War II, to Vietnam, to Iraq. I take pride in our tradition of awarding this commendation to deserving veterans and look forward to presenting them with their awards very soon.
2016 TX-17 Congressional Veteran’s Commendation recipients:
- Rudy G. Cortez of Bryan – U.S. Army; Berlin Conflict
- Franklin Joe Karasek, Jr. of Caldwell - U.S. Army; Vietnam War
- Kenneth Wayne Kidd of Pflugerville – U.S. Air Force; 1976-1988
- Frank J. Kocman, Jr. of Bryan – U.S. Army; World War II and Berlin Conflict
- J.D. Langley of College Station – U.S. Marine Corps; 1974-1979
- James D. McDonald of Bryan – U.S. Army; Vietnam War, Panama, Grenada, Desert Shield and Desert Storm
- David P. Marion of College Station – U.S. Army; Vietnam War
- Rodulphe L. Peltier of College Station – U.S. Air Force; Gulf War I and II
- Jason Paul Rhodes of Milano – U.S. Army; Iraq War
- Gary John Urban of Lorena – U.S. Air Force; Vietnam and Desert Storm
- James Arthur Wilkinson of Pflugerville – U.S. Army; Vietnam War
- Phillip Zendejas of Pflugerville – U.S. Army; 1968-1970
As always, I encourage each of you to continue praying for our country during these challenging times, for our veterans, and for our military personnel and first responders who protect us each day.
With great respect,
Member of Congress