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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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McAllen
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A Surprise Dedication: Honoring the Legacy of Bert Ogden and Robert C. Vackar at the Bert Ogden Auto Group Cadillac Headquarters

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"United in Service: A Tribute to Our Heroes - The Bert Ogden Auto Group honors its veteran workforce and commemorates the enduring legacy of founders Mr. Bert Ogden and Mr. Robert C. Vackar with a grand, surprise monument dedication at their state-of-the-art Cadillac facility." From L-R, front row: Luis A. Rodriguez, U.S. Army 1971-1979; Rafael Acuña, Jr.  U.S. Army DSRT STRM 81-91; Gilbert Valadez U.S. Army, Vietnam 67-70; Principals Janet Ogden Vackar and Robert C. Vackar Vietnam War Veteran U.S. Army 1969-1970; Bill Overstreet, U.S. Army Vietnam 65-83; Carl Johnson U. S. Navy 1966-1968; and Glen Hannah, Air Force 1982-1988.Back row: Left: Beto Barron, Army National Guard, 1991-2000 and Right: Mike Kennedy, US Marine Corps, 1968-1972, Vietnam. The founder of the company Mr. Bert R. Ogden, Korean War Veteran, U.S. Army 1952-1953. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
“United in Service: A Tribute to Our Heroes – The Bert Ogden Auto Group honors its veteran workforce and commemorates the enduring legacy of founders Mr. Bert Ogden and Mr. Robert C. Vackar with a grand, surprise monument dedication at their state-of-the-art Cadillac facility.” From L-R, front row: Luis A. Rodriguez, U.S. Army 1971-1979; Rafael Acuña, Jr. U.S. Army DSRT STRM 81-91; Gilbert Valadez U.S. Army, Vietnam 67-70; Principals Janet Ogden Vackar and Robert C. Vackar Vietnam War Veteran U.S. Army 1969-1970; Bill Overstreet, U.S. Army Vietnam 65-83; Carl Johnson U. S. Navy 1966-1968; and Glen Hannah, Air Force 1982-1988.Back row: Left: Beto Barron, Army National Guard, 1991-2000 and Right: Mike Kennedy, US Marine Corps, 1968-1972, Vietnam. The founder of the company Mr. Bert R. Ogden, Korean War Veteran, U.S. Army 1952-1953. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Texas Border Business

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By Roberto Hugo González

In a ceremony loaded with surprise and respect, a unique military monument was dedicated at the Bert Ogden Auto Group’s state-of-the-art Cadillac facility. The monument honored the founder of Bert Ogden Auto Group, Mr. Bert Ogden, and his business partner and son-in-law, Mr. Robert C. Vackar. 

Both men have long-standing connections to the military, which the company honored with this monument. The monument’s location, at the heart of the Cadillac facility located at 4801 S I-69C, Edinburg, TX 78539, affirms the special love Mr. Ogden and his wife, Dorothy, had for Cadillacs.

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Mr. Vackar, unaware of the project until its unveiling, was initially puzzled by the ongoing construction. Natasha del Barrio, President and CEO of the auto group, and the staff humorously suggested to him that a spaceship was being built. The administration’s ability to keep this a secret was a testament to their dedication to surprise and honor him.

Natasha, a key player in organizing the surprise, expressed hope that the dedication would reflect the respect and honor Mr. Ogden and Mr. Vackar deserve for their service to the company and the military.

The monument is an architectural marvel, incorporating delicate elements representing the Cadillac brand and artistically forming the letters ‘V’ and ‘O’, standing for Vackar and Ogden. The monument also houses plaques in memory of Mr. Ogden and in dedication to Mr. Vackar honoring the military service of both men, who served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, respectively.

The dedication ceremony, led by Natasha, commenced with the national anthem by Alyssa Cantu and a flag-raising ceremony by the United States Marine Corps. Flagpoles at all Bert Ogden Auto Group properties are among the tallest in the Valley, symbolizing Mr. and Mrs. Vackar’s strong patriotism.

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The emotional moment came when plaques honoring Mr. Ogden and Mr. Vackar were presented. The messages on the plaques highlighted their dedication to their community, their extraordinary vision, and their tireless commitment, all of which led to the creation and growth of the Bert Ogden Auto Group.

The ceremony also saw the honoring of military veterans of the company, particularly those who have been with the company for over 20 years. Each veteran was gifted a brick with their name and military service details imprinted as a commemorative duplicate of the brick to be placed on the monument’s floor. These bricks served as a physical symbol of their invaluable contributions to the company and their service to the country.

Mr. Vackar’s heartfelt words brought the ceremony to a close. Reflecting on the uniqueness of serving one’s country, he expressed pride and respect for his fellow veterans. The ceremony stood as a touching tribute to the legacy of Bert Ogden and Robert C. Vackar, a salute to their military service, and a testament to their dedication to the Bert Ogden Auto Group and the community at large.

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