By Roberto Hugo González
Texas Regional Bank (TRB) recently celebrated Veterans Day with the same enthusiasm and gratitude that has become a tradition in the community. The event, held at the main McAllen branch of TRB, brought veterans, their families, and community members together to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have selflessly served their nation. It was a heartfelt acknowledgment of the sacrifices made by veterans and an opportunity to express appreciation for their dedication.
The celebration featured 11 veterans and distinguished personalities who added significance to the event. McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez delivered a touching speech highlighting the importance of honoring veterans and the city’s commitment to creating a vibrant community.
Mr. Rodriguez began by acknowledging the significant growth in the number of events, festivals, and programs in McAllen over the past decade, all aimed at improving the quality of life in the city. He emphasized the role of community partners like Texas Regional Bank in making these initiatives successful, highlighting their contribution to making McAllen and Rio Grande Valley a magical place.
One of the city’s most celebrated events, the McAllen Holiday Parade, was cited as an example of the positive impact of collaboration between the city and its corporate partners. Mr. Rodriguez mentioned the joy on children’s faces and the priceless experiences that such events create for families, all made possible by the support of the corporate community, including Texas Regional Bank.
Mr. Rodriguez also spoke passionately about the significance of Veterans Day. He praised veterans as the embodiment of the American spirit. These individuals willingly put their lives on the line to defend the United States and protect the freedoms cherished by its citizens. He reminded the audience that veterans come from diverse backgrounds and willingly confront evil in the world to safeguard the American experiment.
The city manager shared a personal connection to veterans, mentioning that the city employs 155 veterans, each exemplifying dedication and servant leadership.
He added, “You would be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated group of servant leaders. Take Richard Barry Bazel, for instance, Ben Landeros to the US Marine Corps covered six years from June 1974 to June 1980, including service within the second and third marine aircraft wings and a deployment with the US 6th fleet in the Mediterranean. Barry’s dedication is mirrored by his son Tim, a current member of my team, who dedicated over five years to the Air Force. Similarly, Ben Landeros service in the Air Force took him to Okinawa, Japan, and several other global locations.
We also have Jesus Borrego and Jose Fuentes, both from the Parks Department, who put on the Air Force uniform with great pride. Additionally, Maria Nuñez broke new ground in her family as the first to join the military, serving as a motor transport operator in the Army for six years, which included a deployment to Kuwait. On a note close to home, my younger brother Caesar also contributed to our nation’s defense efforts by assembling bombs for the Air Force during Operation Desert Shield. I am especially proud of my nephew, Troy Garza, who serves as a Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps today. Representing the city of McAllen and such honorable individuals it’s a reminder that freedom is not free. I’m profoundly grateful and forever mindful that the freedoms we enjoy come at a price. My sincerest thanks to all who have served.”
The event continued, and Jamie Brown Rosas, the Business Development Director at Texas Regional Bank, said, “I extend our heartfelt thanks to you, Mr. Rodriguez. Your presence here today means a lot, especially considering your insights into the city of McAllen’s commendable employment of numerous veterans. It’s truly appreciated.” She added, “I’d like everyone to be aware that there’s an important press conference back in city hall, yet Mr. Rodriguez chose to be with us, which deserves our sincere gratitude. Additionally, I’m pleased to mention that this year, the collaboration between the city’s parks and recreation department and Texas Regional Bank was exceptional, culminating in a generous contribution exceeding $6,000 to Team Red, White, and Blue—an organization dedicated to supporting the mental and physical well-being of our Veterans.”
It was a day filled with appreciation, unity, and gratitude for the veterans who gave so much to their nation.