The Rowlett Community held a virtual Veterans Day Ceremony and extended their appreciation for the veterans within the community and currently serving.
The Veterans Day Ceremony featured Rowlett Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian, councilmembers Whitney Laning, Pamela Bell, Martha Brown, Matt Grubisich, Blake Margolis and Brownie Sherrill.
The event began with Boy Scout Troop #1020 who performed the Raising of the Colors. Veronica Hines contributed to the ceremony and sung “Amazing Grace.” The keynote speaker was Vietnam War veteran Hal Ammons.
“I would like to welcome all of you and thank you for joining us on this special virtual veterans ceremony. On behalf of all residents of the city of Rowlett, I thank our local veterans watching and all our brave citizens presently serving in the military. I extend our sincerest gratitude for your sacrifices. Your selfless actions continue to protect our way of life and keep our country strong,” Dana-Bashain said. “We thank you for your bravery, your sacrifice, and your selflessness. We are honored to call you friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens.”
Mayor Pro Tem Matt Grubisich then introduced Ammons. Ammons grew up in North Carolina before he served at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and was reported to Vietnam. He served in the Republic of Vietnam first Battalion and 12th cavalry division from Jul 1967 to Jun 1968.
“I’ll never forget the vibration in the throat the mics caused. A war officer came onto my frequency that they were are on station and ready to work,” Hammons said. “With the efforts of those helicopter pilots of the true heroes of Vietnam that we were able to get our wounded out.”
After the war, he worked at two Fortune 200 companies before having a career in education. Hammons worked as an instructor and administration coordinator for Robins Community College. He has continued to help veterans at the Rowlett Veterans Resource and Outreach center.
“Since moving to Texas, I've tried my best to help other veterans because I feel the veterans of my era were poorly served and unappreciated. As a result I now volunteer two days a week at the Veterans Outreach Center to right claim other veterans. I've researched particularly for veterans of Vietnam and know I can get them the benefits they deserve,” Hammons said. “My mission at this point in my life is to continue to serve other veterans which I will continue to do as long as god gives me the strength to do it. Thanks again to the city of Rowlett and the state of Texas. I appreciate what this state has done for veterans and what this city has done for veterans.”
The ceremony followed with Councilmember Blake Margolis who provided areas in which the Rowlett community could help their local veterans.
“Please consider donating money and or time to an organization that supports our service members, flying a flag, asking a veteran about their service, writing a note to a veteran, or visiting a VA hospital,” Margolis said. “Additionally, the veterans resource and outreach center is an excellent way to become engaged with the veterans community. I encourage you to extend your recognition to our service men and women in one or more of these ways.”