The Texas State Student Foundation and the Dean of Students held an annual commemorative celebration of Veterans Day on the Quad on Nov. 13. The ceremony featured the Bobcat marching band, a flyover was conducted by the Commemorative Air Force and a guest speaker addressed the 1,040 students at Texas State who are veterans.
The speaker and guest of honor was Lt. Col. Manuel F. Saenz, a United States Air Force veteran.
Lt. Col. Saenz has been awarded two bronze star medals, the defense meritorious service medal, and five meritorious service medals. Saenz addressed the roots of American liberty and extended gratitude to his fellow veterans and members of the U.S. military.
“For over 240 years, we have remained a nation of free people, worthy of our freedom, and determined to protect this great nation founded under God,” Saenz said. “There is no mystery behind the endurance and success of American liberty. It is because, in every generation, from the Revolutionary period to this very hour, brave Americans have stepped forward and served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States. Every one of them deserves the thanks and admiration of the entire country.”
Saenz discussed the freedoms protected by the U.S. armed forces, and the sacrifices made to secure American liberties.
“It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press,” Saenz said. “It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the campaign organizer, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. It is the veteran who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.”
Saenz ended the ceremony by addressing the sacrifices and accomplishments of our fallen soldiers, living soldiers, and our veterans. He extended hope that our nation will continue to be thankful for their service.
“Many of our heroes rest in Arlington or Fort Sam Houston cemetery, yet some of them are still with us as friends, as neighbors, and as colleagues,” said Saenz. “They are America’s veterans, and they are still the pride of our nation. They have fought our wars, defended our shores, and kept us free. May God keep us ever grateful for their service. God bless you. God bless Texas. And God bless the United States of America.”
President Denise Trauth spoke at the commemoration about Texas State’s continued recognition by G.I. Jobs and Military Times Magazine for being a military-friendly campus and for being one of the best colleges in America for serving student-veterans. Trauth offered thanks to veterans and soldiers everywhere.
“I would like to thank our veterans, their families who also make sacrifices so their loved ones can serve, and particularly our office of Veterans Affairs, which works hard to serve and support our veteran population,” Trauth said.
Veterans Affairs can be contacted at 512-245-2641 or firstname.lastname@example.org.