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TAMIU Welcomes Veterans’ Oral History Gift Posted: 11/28/18

TAMIU Welcomes Veterans’ Oral History Gift

 

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The memories and recorded recollections of  a group of local veterans will now find a home at Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

The gift was presented to the Special Collections and Archives on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 in a special ceremony hosted by TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz at the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Colonnade at TAMIU.

Honored guests were the  veterans featured in the recorded recollections:  Private First Class, United States Army, John Valls, WW II; Corporal, United States Army, Manuel V. Ramirez, Korean War;  Specialist Four, United States Army, Oscar J. Hale, Sr., Vietnam War; Ship Serviceman, Second Class, United States Navy Cruz Maldonado -  Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, and  Sgt., United States Army, David Garza, Iraq/Afghanistan conflict.

The history project had its germination in an historic, but informal gathering organized by 406thDistrict Court Judge Oscar Jesus Hale, Jr.

“On March 6, 2018, the day of our primary elections, we invited some of our local veterans for a ‘Lunch with our Heroes’ and to record their  recollections.  What transpired was an amazing dialogue between five generations of American war heroes that should be preserved for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

“I assisted my court reporter in transcribing the video portion of the recording and based on the conversations that took place during this memorable luncheon I decided to entitle it “Laredo Warriors; Laredo Pride! Five Wars—One Mission… To Get Home Safe!”  “Wars, Deeds, and Bad Dreams… In their own words,” Judge Hale explained.

Hale approached TAMIU to determine if the University’s growing archives might be a home for these remarkable recordings.

TAMIU Killam Library Special Collections librarian Jeanette M. Hatcher seized on the opportunity to expand the Library’s archive holdings.

“This donation serves as a testament to the long tradition of military service that is present in Laredo.  This is an important aspect of our regional history.  Currently, there are additional Veteran oral history projects underway that are being conducted by TAMIU student veterans which will further explore this facet of our community’s history.  We are very excited to expand our oral history holdings and truly appreciate Judge Hale’s generous gift,” Hatcher said. 

The Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library houses the Special Collections and Archives which serves as an official repository for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.  The main collecting focus of the archive is the history of South Texas and Northern México.  The materials in the archive are available for research purposes to the University community and to the general public. 

For additional information, including more about donating materials to the Library’s Special Collections and Archives, please contact Hatcher, Special Collections librarian, at 956.326.2404 or at jhatcher@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the Killam Library, room 205.

University information is also available online at tamiu.edu and from the University’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 9456.326.2180, by email at prmis@tamiu.eduor by visiting office location in the Killam Library, room 268.

The University’s story is also available on its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Gift Presentation by Laredo Vets

Participants in the special Laredo Veterans Oral History Gift to TAMIU included (L to R) 406thDistrict Court Judge Oscar Jesus Hale, Jr.; Sgt., United States Army, David Garza, Iraq/Afghanistan conflict; Specialist Four, United States Army, Oscar J. Hale, Sr., Vietnam War; Private First Class, United States Army, John Valls, WW II; Ship Serviceman, Second Class, United States Navy, Cruz Maldonado, Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm; Corporal, United States Army, Manuel V. Ramirez, Korean War; Steve Whitworth of the local law firm of Person, Whitworth, Borchers & Morales; Jeanette M. Hatcher, Special Collections librarian, and Dr. Pablo Arenaz, president.