GPISD Veterans Appreciation Luncheon

By Allan Jamail

November 10, 2023 ~ Galena Park ISD had their annual veterans appreciation luncheon the day before the National Veterans Day Holiday of Saturday, November 11, 2023. Veterans Day actually had its beginning as Armistice Day, which President Woodrow Wilson created on November 11, 1919 — a year after World War I ended. Later in 1954, after World War II ended, the 83rd Congress changed the name to Veterans Day to be observed annually every November 11th.

Dr. Marley Morris, Senior Director for Secondary Curriculum & Instruction, was the Master of Ceremonies. He kept the program’s agenda interesting and moving orderly. Mrs. Sherrhonda Hunter, Executive Director for School and Community Relations, assisted in making sure the event went smoothly as planned.

The luncheon began with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance by students. The Star Spangled Banner was sung by the North Shore Senior High School Choir, Perfect Harmony. They were led by Director Anthony Rodriguez; assistants directors are Adam Bendorf and Jade Panares. Video presentations of each of the branches of the Armed Forces were shown, honoring the Vets.

Superintendent Dr. John Moore said, “I’m speaking personally and from the heart to the Veterans here. My sincere heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Veterans here today for the sacrifices both you and your families made in protecting our freedom. Without your sacrifices and other Veterans we would not be able to have this event today. Thank you.”

Over a hundred Vets both men and women of all branches of the Armed Forces were given a nice meal with refreshments and deserts. Attendees were given their choice of meat loaf or chicken and spaghetti. The sides were green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, bread rolls, tea, coffee or water with cups cakes for dessert. The meal, prepared by cooks Lucia Nunez and Imelda Quintero, was served hot to each individual at their table by school staff.

GPISD has a top quality professional meal planning and preparation department for events and preparing student meals.

Brian Aubin is the Director for Student Nutrition Services. Other professionals are Thao Vo, Assistant Director; Tonya Moore, Assistant Director; Sarina Castillo, Secretary; Wendy McClain, Buyer; Elizabeth Vasquez, Field Supervisor; Connie Gable, Field Supervisor; Esperanza Gonzalez, Field Supervisor; Sandra Moreno, Food Distribution Coordinator; Vicky Leago, Bookkeeper; Sonia Silva, Lone Star Grill Manager; Lucia Nunez, Imelda Quintero and Damiana Franco, Grill Employee/Cooks.

Chris Gause, school photographer, took photos of each branch of the Armed Forces along with all of the performances and most all the attendees. For those interested in getting copies of the photos, contact the administration building at 832-386-1000.

All of the school’s trustees were present. They visited the tables of Veterans thanking them for their service to the country.

Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia visited with the vets, providing selfie photos when requested.

She said, “This event is something I look forward to, I’ve only missed it when I’m in Washington and cannot attend. Our Veterans deserve the best of healthcare and I always give their care my top priority. Their unselfish service to our nation demands respect from each of us.”

Senator Carol Alvarado said, “We extend our sincerest gratitude to all those who have served our nation. Their commitment and sacrifice embody the essence of patriotism and we are forever grateful for their service at home and abroad.”

State Representative Ana Hernandez said, “Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to all of our brave men and women who answered the call to serve our country. We are forever grateful for your service.”

Emcee Morris said, “Galena Park ISD was proud and honored to show our support of Veterans and their families at our annual Veterans Day luncheon. The student presentations and performances only begin to exemplify the gratitude we all have for our service members and their families.”