Bandera County hires new Veterans Service Officer
Bandera County recently hired Mike Lauricella, U.S. Navy veteran, as its Veterans County Service Officer. He is located at 403 12th Street and can be reached at 830-460-1643. He takes appointments from Monday through Thursday.
Silver Sage helps veterans with financial assistance program
Through the Veteran’s Financial Assistance Program, the Silver Sage can help eligible veterans, their dependents and spouses with one-time utility or rent/mortgage payments, providing food or certain medical services, and arranging transportation services.
Lakehills residents channel common love for aeronautics, build flight simulator training center
After a local USAF veteran opened his home to the international exchange program years ago, an unexpected friendship, turned mentorship, turned professional partnership evolved with a young dreamer who lived right under his nose. Now entering his sophomore year at the esteemed Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, the Bandera High School graduate returned to his Lakehills home and mentor this summer, and together, the pair built an authentic flight simulation training center.
On this page, we are preserving the stories, and memories, of military veterans.
This is a place for service members to share their experiences in the most vivid, intimate way -
in their own voices.
Victor Strickland, USS Enterprise, Vietnam
Victor Strickland served two tours in Vietnam, from 1970-1974. He recently reunited with his USS Enterprise brothers Gene Beaudoin (Vietnam 1971-1975) and Lawrence Prazak (Vietnam 1970-1973), 50 years after serving together.
Larry Jackson, USAF
USAF Veteran Larry Jackson, of Bandera, comes from a family of military heroes, including his best friend, who was killed in Vietnam. He was recently invited to speak during the Juneteenth Celebration, and recited an excerpt from the Emancipation Proclamation.
Dayton Whitehead, WWII
In honor of Flag Day, celebrated annually on June 14, Medina Community Matters: Faith and Freedom paid special tribute to World War II Veteran Dayton Whitehead. He was presented a U.S. Flag and Texas State Flag, as well as a pin in commemoration of Women's Veterans Day. Finding it difficult to speak of his time in the military, he prefers instead to pay homage to all of his veteran brothers and sisters.
Gary L. Noller, Combat Infantryman
Gary Noller served as a Combat Infantryman from 1970-71 for 19 months and one day. Today, with a sense of humor, he recalls rainy days without food in the mountains and jungles of Vietnam.
SGT John Perkins, USMC
John Perkins joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1966, beating the draft papers he later received while in boot camp. Within six months, he was in Vietnam, stationed in Da Nang. He served until 1970.
Attached proudly to his hat are the Chaplain Service pin, for his gift of prayer while his unit was under heavy fire; the National Rifle Association pin; and the Marine Corps pin.
MSGT Luis Estela, USAF, Ret.
While he shuffled a copy of his DD214 and some other paperwork, Luis Estela regaled a few stories of his time in the service, beginning with when he enlisted in the U.S. Military 70 years ago, when he was 18 years old. A distinguished career followed for the 88-year-old veteran, who served during both the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Some of his decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with One Device, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Four Devices, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Force Conduct Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship ribbon, Armed Forces Expenditionary Medal, NCO Academy Graduate Ribbon, Army Good Conduct Medal with Three Devices, Combat Readiness Medal with one Medal and the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with Five Devices.
Estela retired in April 1980, after serving 27 years and 21 days active duty. He remained in the reserves for another three years.
Bandera and Lakehills American Legions team together to celebrate Veterans Day
A crisp, chilly, and cloudy Veterans Day, much like the beaches of Normandy in World War II, greeted approximately 400 veterans, their families, and appreciative Bandera County residents, on the Bandera County Courthouse grounds to commemorate the 21st annual “Bandera Honors Veterans” Veterans Day Celebration, which began mid-morning on Veterans Day.
U.S. Military Working Dog Teams commemorate national monument
The U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument 10th anniversary commemoration was held Oct. 27, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Bandera ISD grad and Navy sailor mobilized to Israel
Bandera native Tatiana Herrera Treviño has been mobilized on the U.S. Naval warship USS Roosevelt to the Eastern Mediterranean, closer to Israel, this week.
When monuments come to life
You’re in the Army Now!
Wallace “Wally” Snyder, age 99, humbly shares his World War II service in the U.S. Army. As a jeep driver in a unit attached to Patton’s Third Army, he "did what he was told to the best of his ability.”
Bandera production company honors the fallen
A project in the works by Will Jenkins, of Up Style Productions in Bandera, will feature Michelle Murray-Poczobut, of the American Legion, playing TAPS in honor of our fallen dogs and handlers.
Bandera American Legion chaplain makes connection at Elephant Sanctuary
Christopher Dion, chaplain with the Bandera American Legion Post 157, visits with Tom Smith at the Elephant Sanctuary in Fredericksburg. Smith is a USMC Vietnam War Veteran, and was part of the nuclear tests involving soldiers on the battlefield.
World War II veteran and Medina native honored for Flag Day
In honor of Flag Day, celebrated annually on June 14, Medina Community Matters: Faith and Freedom paid special tribute to World War II Veteran Dayton Whitehead, 95. Medina Community Matters host Vicki Shroyer also celebrated the attendance of WWII Veteran Jud Ashmore, 99.
Veteran recalls two Vietnam tours, fighting in the field and catching waves
Still proud of his long hair, streaked with blonde and white highlights, John Perkins is a man of truth and optimism. The Michigan native is a self-professed hippie, a Marine who received his draft papers while he was already in boot camp, and a surfer who caught some choice waves while serving in Vietnam.
Bandera grad escorts U.S. general on Naval ship
On Monday, March 6, Bandera ISD graduate Tatiana Herrera Treviño escorted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley onboard the USS Roosevelt during his visit to Naval Station Rota.
My Memorial Day tribute
Angel I just thought you might like to know that my great-granddaughter Mackenzie has decided she wants to learn how to shoot marbles. It would appear she has inherited some of that fire we had during those epic battles we waged on the schoolgrounds of St. Joseph's Catholic School so many years ago. I just hope I'm up to it.
The Meaning of Memorial Day
Excellent weather brought hundreds of viewers to the annual Memorial Day weekend parade in Bandera. It was a fitting way to greet the summer.
I grew up in Dodge City, Kansas. As a youth I do not remember Memorial Day parades. But my family observed the special day in remembrance of loved ones.
My uncle, Fred William Noller, was killed-in-action on Okinawa, Japan, on April 9, 1945. Many years ago I was given an old cardboard shoe box with some mementos that were kept by my grandmother, Winnie May Moss Noller. One of the items was a tattered envelope with the words “save this” written in pencil on the back.
Bandera American Legion Riders join Run for the Wall Memorial Day Ride
The American Legion Riders Post 157 were in Washington D.C. for the Run for the Wall Memorial Day Ride. The ride runs from California to Arlington and the Vietnam Wall to honor all of America's fallen.
San Antonio blacksmith helps veterans forge into the future
In a little blacksmith shop near downtown San Antonio one can feel the heat of a 2,000-degree furnace and hear the sound of hammers hitting steel, reshaping what was left behind into something new, with a whole new purpose and new life. The place is the Caylor Forge, the program is called Reforged, and the amateur artisans at work are military veterans.
Vietnam Veterans honored in Bandera
The American Legion Post 157 on Sunday invited and honored Vietnam era veterans and their families for a special meet and greet. Following a special pinning, refreshments were served - including C-Ration “Morsels,” resources were shared, and stories were told.
A final Texas reunion
On the early morning of 5 May 2023, as the historic town of San Antonio began to rise in preparation for the celebration of Cinco De Mayo, a band of warriors journeyed southward to the Gateway of the Air Force for a celebration of their own.