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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2019

Veterans honored at San Antonio wreath-laying ceremony

By Petty Officer 1st Class David Kolmel Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command Public Affairs

Capt. Elizabeth Montcalm-Smith, acting deputy commander of Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Alamo and a parade to honor veterans in San Antonio Nov. 11.
The ceremony was part of Celebrate America’s Military, or CAM, Week which is 18 days of events hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. CAM provides the chance for organizations around the San Antonio to thank veterans for their service.

“There are special moments where we pause and come together as a community and as a nation to reflect upon what’s important to us, this is one of those moments,” Montcalm-Smith said. “Before the parade and the celebrations begin, we pause briefly to reflect on our freedom, the importance of a strong military to protect our freedom and the essential ingredient of our freedom, the veteran, whose service and sacrifice ensures our military remains ready to protect our freedom.”

Texas State Sen. José Menéndez described the sacrifices that service members make for their country and the commitment the country has to them.

“I know that you all know it is our moral obligation to recognize their sacrifice and their service. We don’t distinguish between military branches, we’re here to recognize the real top one percent,” Menéndez, who represents the 26th District, said. “If you wonder what I am talking about, it is only 1 percent of Americans that wear the uniform.”

Menéndez thanked all the veterans and military families for their many brave acts and for their selfless service.

“You are heroes who have never given up on us, and we as a nation must never give up on you,” Menéndez said.

The ceremony demonstrated to members of the military in attendance the support that they receive from the community.

“Seeing all of the people who came out to the Alamo and lined the streets to say “Thank You” for our service was a nice reminder of the support we have from the community that we serve and live in,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Amity Montoya, NMETLC’s Sailor of the Year. “It shows that people care about us not only when we are deployed but at home as well. I also got the chance to thank them for supporting us.”

President George Washington stated “the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

“San Antonio, you have set the standard,” Montcalm-Smith said. “The name Military City USA proclaims it, and your actions demonstrate it. On behalf of the men and women of your United States Navy, I thank you.”