In a full room, a single table sits aside, empty.
“The table symbolizes that they’re not dead, they are coming home one day and all of us will be here waiting for them,” MAVA of Wichita Falls President Jose Villastrigo said
The Mexican American Veteran’s Association also known as “MAVA” honored veterans Saturday night. Those who live, have passed, and never came home.
“They were somebody’s child, somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s grandson, aunt, uncle, nephew, and they are missing,” MAVA of Wichita Falls Secretary Elvira Arrieta said. “The table is round to show the everlasting concern of our missing men and women, the tablecloth is white symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to duty. A slice of lemon on the bread plate is to remind us of the bitter fate of those captured missing and in foreign lands.”
State Senator Pat Fallon was the keynote speaker at the annual banquet, speaking as a veteran himself.
“You see the POW symbol and it says never forget but we also have to always remember and they seem like the same things but they’re really not because I think remembering is being more proactive as well and telling folks and when you see someone in uniform, say hello and thank them,” Fallon said.
MAVA is doing just that, being proactive by not only recognizing fallen soldiers, but helping and serving those who are alive today.
The president of MAVA served in Iraq, coming home after Desert Storm.
“Every street was lined with families waving flags and very humbling and it wasn’t that way for some of the guys during Vietnam and we just like to recognize that they are welcome, every veteran is welcome,” Villastrigo said.
A salute to active duty military, former military, the ones who lost their lives, and especially the servicemen who should be sitting at the empty table at the front of the room.
MAVA’s mission is to help, honor and remember every local United States veteran and their families.
They always accept donations for JROTC scholarships they give, and their support of base camp Lindsey Veteran Housing. Click here if you’d like to donate or contact the organization.