Ray Borane Middle School on 12th Street held its annual Veteran’s Day assembly Nov. 10.
“This marks the 20th Annual Veteran’s Day Assembly at Ray Borane Middle School sponsored by our National Junior Honor Society,” RBMS Principal Melissa Rodriguez said. “Mrs. Rosemary Owen started this tradition 20 years ago as a classroom teacher at RBMS. Every year the Veteran’s Day Assembly honors veterans who are served in our military services.”
“This year our Veteran’s Day Assembly was in memory of KIA Korean War Sgt. First Class Frank G. Vejar. He was MIA up until April 14, 2020 when remains were found and confirmed his identity. His family now awaits for his return, as his remains are currently in Hawaii.”
Vejar has been missing for 70 years. His two sisters Margaret Valdez and Anita Rose were in attendance at the RBMS ceremony.
“We were really honored,” Rose said of her brother being recognized. “Being that we just found out a few months ago that his remains were among those returned from Korea made this ceremony a little more special.”
Valdez shared some stories about her late brother and the experiences her brother went through while serving his country.
“His life was so short but yet so meaningful,” Valdez said. “Seventy years is a long time to wait for him to come home.”
Local veterans Dusty Maklary of the Fred Hilburn American Legion Post #11 and Ed Gomez, a member of the Douglas school board spoke who served 22 years in the Navy Reserves, were the guest speakers.
“We are here today to remember and to honor all the brave veterans who have served the U.S. military since our country’s founding,” Maklary said. “The United States has freedom and liberty that others don’t. Freedom is not free. Freedom comes with a price. Today we remember those who fought to protect our freedom and lost theirs.”
Gomez describes his military career as “not very eventful” and spent most of it on what is called the Naval Reserve Dental Board, since he was a dentist, retiring in 1984 as a captain.
“I had friends from my dental school class that were drafted to Vietnam,” he said. “Fortunately none of them got hurt and they all came back. I did have two brothers-in-law that did serve in Vietnam. I also had uncles that served. I am proud that I served, that I retired from the Naval Reserve and I salute those who have served and sacrificed for our country.”
Frank Zamora played “Taps” on his trumpet.
“Due to current circumstances this year’s annual ceremony was limited to a small group of guests,” Rodriguez said. “The presentation was available live streamed through the RBMS YouTube channel which reached 794 views. Thank you everyone for your continued support and dedication to RBMS.”