American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: (SAN ANTONIO, Texas) – Sergio “Serg” Dickerson, COL (RET} USA, NVOP President/Chief Executive Officer: Veterans Day is November 11, 2022; you are invited to be part of a greatly impactful and meaningful event: the American GI Forum-National Veterans Outreach Program, Inc. Annual Veterans Day Golf Tournament. We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary and this event benefits one of the most deeply rooted and hardest working Veteran Service Organization in the State of Texas.
Our only fundraiser, this tournament will be held at Golf Club of Texas in San Antonio, Texas where Hill Country charm meets Country Club elegance! Golf Club of Texas is the perfect place to host our Annual Veterans Day Golf Tournament providing challenging fairways, atmosphere of relaxation and plenty of camaraderie.
I encourage you to visit our website (www.agif-nvop.org) or Facebook page (National Veterans Outreach Program} to get a better picture of the good we do every day! The American GI Forum-National Veterans Outreach Program, Inc. (NVOP}, founded in 1972, is a Veteran Service 501-C-3 (charitable} non-profit organization that provides transitional services to Veterans and their families with employment, job training, housing and wellness services including mental health.
Enclosed, please find a sponsorship guide providing ample opportunities for your corporate brand to be shared amongst attendees. Please, will you consider joining us? Call or email Robert Flores @ (210} 223-4088 or [email protected]
If you prefer to do it all online: enroll, register or donate at www.nvopveteransdayclassic.org our tax-deductible contribution will allow us to continue to provide assistance and relief to our Veterans and their families!
Hope to see you on the greens!
“Honoring a National Hero’s Legacy”, Justice for my People!
American GI Forum of the U.S. – (AUSTIN, Texas) The 2022 National Conference was held at the Embassy Suites in Colorado Springs, Monday thru Wednesday, July 24-27, 2022. The Conference attendance had enough States present to have a quorum declared. Honoring a National Hero’s Legacy”, Justice for my People! Uniting to meet the challenges of the future and honoring all who served was the theme carried out throughout the Conference.
Official Business Sessions began on the second day. Convention rules, credentials, and committee appointments made, read, rules and credentials were read and presented after a quorum was established.
The 3-day event began with Meetings i.e., NVOP and HEF s well as opening of Exhibits and Workshops. The Youth Education and Leadership Luncheon was Key noted by State Senator Nic Hinrichsen and Master of Ceremonies was Rudy Trevino, Anchor and Journalist at KIII-TV, Corpus Christi, Texas. After the Luncheon Workshops by AARP, Commanders and Chairwoman’s report followed by the constitutional committee presentation.
Tuesday was highlighted with a VA Roundtable Discussion featuring Sergio Dickerson, President/CEO AGIF-NVOP, Honorable Donald M. Remy, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Pete Jeffries, National Director for AARP’s Veterans and Families Initiative, Jose R. Ramos Vice President Wounded Warrior Project Government and Community Relations, and Michelle Aguirre, GM Assistant Manager, DEI External Partners Global Diversity and ERG. The Roundtable was moderated by Rudy Trevino who was part of all the events and did an outstanding job with all events.
The Roundtable was followed by the Women’s Leadership Luncheon, Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Hector P. Garcia and featuring Mariachi Lobos. Keynote Speaker was Major Nicole Torres, Chief Training for Admissions Directorate, U.S, Air Force Academy, Colorado. Presentation by Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez Contes recognizing Gold Star and Blue Star Mothers with flag presentations. After the luncheon, business session reconvened and Breakouts, Workshops, and 2nd readings of Rules and Credentials were followed by VA Workshops.
The Commander’s Banquet was preceded with a reception with Mariachi Lobos. Presentation and retiring of colors by Doherty Navy JROTC, Greg Thomas Ret. Caption, The Dinner with Rudy Trevino as Master of Ceremonies led the program featuring Loginos Gonzalez, Jr., Board of County Commissioners, District 4 as Keynote Speaker and featuring a Video presentation by Colorado Governor Jared Polis who was unable to be present. Music and dance followed the dinner and program. Several Awards were presented by National Commander Luis Vazquez Contes.
Wednesday, general Assembly included Final Treasurer’s Report, Final readings of resolutions, constitution amendments, Approval of Constitution and Bids for the 2023 National Conference and Midyear Conference.
The Youth Leadership Luncheon Highlighting original essays by Youth participants. An laptop was awarded to the best three essays by National Chairwoman Patsy M. Vazquez Contes, Dr. Sonia Esquivel, and Youth Chair Marina Duran-Vega. Mr. Rudy Trevino, also awarded $100.00 each to all other participants.
The afternoon session included the Election of Officers preceded with the final credential report, Nomination and Election rules followed by Elections conducted by Nominations Chair and AGIF Texas CEO Gil Rodriguez. The following members were elected to lead the AGIF National for 2022-23
National Commander, Luis Vazquez Contes, Colorado
Vice Commander, Frank Archuleta, Texas
Secretary, Greg Nichols, California
treasurer, Ernesto Montoya, Colorado
Sargent-at-arms, Fernando Rodriguez, Wisconsin
Past National Commander, Larry Romo, Texas
National Chairwoman, Leona Flores, Michigan
Vice Chairwoman, Angela Lopez, Colorado
Secretary, Laura Flores, Colorado
Treasurer, Ruth Sanchez, Colorado
Past Chairwoman, Patsy Vazquez Contes, Colorado
The Youth Reported that Angel Lopez had been elected National Youth Chair. All officers were sworn-in by Past National Commander David Rodriguez.
Bids were opened for the 2023 Mid-year and National Conference resulting in the 2023 National Mid-year will be in Michigan and the 2023 National Conference will convene in Kansas. Both sites were betted and found qualified.
After Good and Welfare, Announcement and Ending Prayer the Conference was adjourned.
The Founder’s Farewell Reception with Dancing to the music of DJ Rambo and Karoke concluded the 3-day event.
Congratulations to Patsy Vazquez Contes for a very successful Conference. We also thank the past officers for their service and wish the new officers the best for a successful venture in their new or renewed roles.
The GI Forum Display in the Hay County Court House Rotunda
By Hays County Historical Commission American GI Forum of Texas Inc. Report: SAN MARCOS, Texas – In celebration of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, the Hays County Historical Commission-His- panic Heritage Committee has chosen to recognize the achievements and contributions of The American GI Forum. The American GI Forum was established in San Marcos in 1948. While the GI Forum did not directly involve itself in partisan politics, it was very involved in community affairs and registering Hispanics to register to vote. One of the obstacles facing the community was the existence of the poll tax which forced people to pay $1.75 for the right to register to vote. The GI Forum came up with a creative strategy that was highly effective. They sponsored dances at the Woodmen of the World Hall and Cuauhtémoc Hall. Admission was $1.75 and all proceed were used to pay the poll tax and register Hispanics to vote. The GI Forum succeeded in registering hundreds of new voters. Among the first Hispanic American individuals elected to public office in HAYS County were all members of the American GI Forum:
- Ruben Ruiz – City Council (1961) Mayor Pro- Tern (1962) County Commissioner (1974)
- Celestino Mendez- School Board 1963- 1969
- Augustin Lucio Jr.-
School Board 1964-1991
- Eleazar Salinas- School Board 1966-1969
- Petro Rodriquez- School Board 1974, County Commissioner 1992-1996
- Luciano Flores – City Council (1968) Mayor (1972)
- Robert Cavazos – City Council 1976) Mayor (1979)
- Jerry Flores – School Board- 1972
- Nick Lara- School Board- 1972
- Jesse Saucedo – Constable (1980)
The late Ruben Ruiz, First Hispanic elected to the San Marcos City Council in 1961 and First Hispanic elected to the Hays County Commissioners Court served as Texas State Chair- man for the American GI Forum from 1966-1968. Many more GI Forum members followed in serving. The American GI Forum Ladies Auxiliary also succeeded and won several seats on city council, school board and county offices. The GI Forum display in the Hay County Court house rotunda. Also visit the Hays County Museum, open the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month 10:00 2:00 and during Commissioner’s Court on Tuesday. Submitted by Hays County Historical Commission
Sylvia Garza, Chapter Chairwoman will serve as meeting coordinator
The American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. –State Commander Mario Perales has called for the Board of Directors regularly scheduled Fall meeting on Saturday October 29, 2022, 11:30 am to 4:00 pm in San Marcos, Texas. The San Marcos Women’s Chapter is hosting the meeting being held at the San Marcos Chapter Facilities 625 S.Mitchell Street in San Marcos. For information call Sylvia Garza, meeting coordinator, at (512) 757-1855 or Gil Rodriguez at the State Office at: (512) 992-7066. If you plan to arrive Friday, please call Sylvia or the State office for hotel information. Some Hotels are close site and are on the west side of IH 35. The state did not block off any rooms in any hotel. Notice of this meeting has been posted on our website. Proper Notices will be mailed out to all Region and Local Commanders/Chairs. The Board meeting will start at 11:30 am Saturday. All State Officers, Region Commanders, Chairwomen must attend and Local Commanders and Chairs are invited. Registration for the meeting is $25.00 per person and includes snacks and refreshments. Lunch will be served, and meeting is scheduled conclude at 4:00 pm but could run until 5:00 pm. All local commanders and chairs are invited. The meeting will have a short agenda of important items that must be discussed prior to our next meeting. An Agenda will provided for all attendees. Items will include Finance, Budget, and Corporate Assets, and the election or evaluation of the AGIF Texas CEO by the Executive Board. Board travel and some proposed plans will be on the agenda. We will be discussing ways to retain and increase membership, utilizing our resources better on how to best continue growing our organization. Of important to all our veterans and families’ progress of new programs will be introduced for discussion. This short meeting is an in-person meeting and will devote time to find ways to return to normal. Everyone present, in good standing and registered, will be permitted to participate in discussions. An agenda will be provided for all attendees. Only Board members will be allowed to vote. Some items although discussed will be referred to the State Conference in June. The next duly called Board meeting is not scheduled until February/March 2023, location TBA before the 2023 the State Conference in June scheduled in El Pase. A National Mid-Year Conference is scheduled for March 2022 in Michigan. Direction for Meeting site: From I-35S (going south) take exit 205 to Hopkins and go west to Mitchell and take a left. Clubhouse is a few blocks on the left side, From I-35N (going north) take exit 205 to Hopkins and go west to Mitchell. For more information call: Sylvia Garza, Board Meeting Chair, (512) 757-1855.
State Conference was held in San Marcos in June 27-28, 2022
Ceasar Ruiz, State Commander
American GI Forum of Texas, Inc.– (AUSTIN, Texas) The 2022 Texas State Conference was held at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in San Marcos, Texas June 24-27 2022. The Conference was called to order by Commander Ceasar Ruiz. A quorum was declared after roll cal . Attendance met with enough chapters to officially conduct Business and approve standing committee reports, resolutions and reports of State officers.
Because the Hotel’s restaurant is closed, it was arranged to have our meals catered. The Conference Committee headed by Lupe Rodriguez did a good job in selecting a caterer who provided the scheduled meals and reception food. The hotel allowed off-site refreshments besides the meals by the caterer provided iced tea.
Given a short schedule everything possible was done to ensure members stay was comfortable and enjoyable. The Conference was dedicated to a long-time member and San Marcos legend. Mr. Celestino Mendez who had recently passed was honored at all events. So, we thought the proper theme would be “Honoring Celestino Mendez a San Marcos Legend.” You had a special reception and several members talked about his involvement locally, state-wide, and nationally. He was also an early leader of our National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP). One of his daughters was invited and presented a personal view of her father and his many accomplishments. Other speakers included, Past National Commander Juan Mireles, Texas CEO Gil Rodriguez and local chapter members. He was honored and mentioned throughout the conference. A good members, community leader, Husband, Father and Friend. He will be missed.
Financial, Legislative, Veterans and other reports were given and approved. Several resolutions were passed and were later presented at the National Conference. Elections of Officers were held and the new elected State Commander is Mario Perales from Ft, Stockton won and State Chairwoman Sylvia Garza from San Marcos was elected unopposed. Mostly new Officers were elected and are posted below.
State Commander, Mario Perales, Ft. Stockton
1st Vice Commander, Phillip Gutierres, Austin,
2nd Vice Commander, Gus Peña, San Antonio
Sgt-at-arms, Manuel Perez, Houston
Secretary, Armando Longoria, Austin (appointed)
Chaplain, Paul Herrera, Austin (appointed)
Past Commander, Ceasar Ruiz, Austin
State Chairwoman, Sylvia Garza, San Marcos
Vice Chairwoman, Jeanie Aleman, Houston
Secretary, Dolores ‘Dee’ Leal, Houston
Treasurer, Cede Perez, Houston Texas
Past Chairwoman, Tina Olivares, Corpus
Congratulations to our new board!
More news: Phillip Gutierrez, Austin was selected Outstanding Forum Member and Belinda Weber, San Marcos was selected Outstanding Woman. El Paso, Texas was selected as the site for our 2023 State Conference. More information coming.