CORPUS CHRISTI - The Veterans Cemetery first opened in 2011 and has since become a dedicated resource for veterans services. In the past three years the staff has done their best to maintain the grounds as well as hold special ceremonies during Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
“One thing I am very proud of is the staff that we have they are very dedicated and I only have four of them,” said Jose Armijo, Director of the Veterans Cemetery. “We have 54 acres of land, they do all the mowing and all of the trimming, concrete and pavement, setting the headstones, they maintain all of the buildings and vehicles.”
Looking at this facility as a shrine to local veterans the director and his staff are constantly doing their best to make sure the grounds are well maintained. “Sometimes if we need to the inside staff will lend a hand with the outside maintenance” Armijo said.
One of the big events the cemetery has throughout the year is Wreaths Across America which takes place on Veterans day. With the help of Ram Chavez, Director of the Veterans Band, and WalMart wreaths are placed on the headstones of each buried veteran.
With a smaller staff and a large property to maintain it is not always an easy task as Director Armijo explained. “Sometimes when the headstones become misaligned due to our soil and weather we have to realign the stones make sure they are back in place and that can be a big challenge.”
Another very important organization involved in accomplishing their mission is the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery Memorial Service Detachment. This is a group that volunteers and is made up of veterans from all over the Coastal Bend area.
This group volunteers to provide any veteran buried at the Veterans Cemetery with Military Honors. The Military Honors consist of three volleys of rifle fire, the playing of Taps. and the folding and presentation of the American flag to the next of kin.
Another service the Cemetery offers is pre-qualifying members of the military to receive services at their facility. Any veteran can go to their facility and they will be guided through the paper work to see if they qualify.
Through the dedicated efforts of their staff as well as the several veterans organizations that volunteer to provide services the Coastal Bend Veterans Cemetery continues to expand its services. As the attendance of their services grows their mission to honor our local soldiers moves forward.