Press Release


National contact:                                                                                                                                                                                            July 23, 2018

Ángel Zúñiga

(361) 563-9353

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The American GI Forum (AGIF) of the US hosts 70th National Conference in

San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, TX July 23, 2018 - AGIF members and guests to celebrate the 70th National Conference and founding of the AGIF of the US at the Wyndham hotel located on the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. Attendees will be welcomed by San Antonio City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzalez during the conference opening breakfast July 26. The breakfast is dedicated to youth and education.  Students from San Antonio’s Dr. Hector B. Garcia Elementary School will receive awards and honors. The Master of Ceremonies is Leslie Cristan, Chairwoman, Beatrice T. Perez Women’s Chapter, and keynote speaker is Monica Herrera, Graduate of John Hopkins University and 1st Runner up for the AGIF 2014 National Conference Youth Scholarship Competition.

This year’s theme, “Seven Decades of Serving Veterans and their Families,” commemorates the original founders and the many members who continue to serve decades later.  Attendees will recognize Carlos Martinez for his 46 years of continuous service to veterans through the American GI Forum National Veterans Outreach Program (NVOP). Martinez will be recognized during a luncheon, reception and the Commanders Banquet for his commitment to veterans.

As part of the 70th anniversary celebration, conference planners have published a commemorative program featuring historical photos of past conferences and events. Be sure to get your copy.

There will be a special commemoration to remember and honor Corpus Christi, the birthplace of the American GI Forum on Thursday. Subsequently, exhibits and the Veterans Affairs workshops begin with opening remarks by Dennis O. May, Deputy Director, Center for Minority Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Corporate and Legislative Awards Luncheon keynote speaker is Herman Rodriguez, City Manager, City of Robstown, Tx. National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez-Contes will present special awards during the luncheon.

Michael Trevino and Deryck Spooner will introduce a Smoking Cessation Program on Friday.

The Carlos Martinez Recognition Luncheon with Master of Ceremonies Ignacio Leija, NVOP (Ret) will include guest Speaker District 26 State Senator Jose Menendez and keynote speaker Harriet Dominique, Senior Vice President, Corporate responsibility and Community Affairs, USAA.

The evening culminates with the Commander’s Banquet with Master of Ceremonies Juan Mireles, Past AGIF National Commander, introducing guest speaker Allen Bergeron, Veterans Office, Austin, Texas and Keynote Speaker by Dennis O. May, Deputy Director, Center for Minority Veterans, Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Women’s Leadership Luncheon on Saturday welcomes Keynote Speaker Dr. Catherine Rudowsky, Dean of Libraries at Texas A & M, Corpus Christi who will be introduced by Ms. Wanda Garcia, the founder’s daughter. National Chairwoman Patsy Vazquez-Contes, will facilitate a special presentation to the Blue Star Mothers.

State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and State Representative will attend the banquets. Other representatives include Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Ret.) and Major General Angela Salinas, USMC (Ret.), Girl Scouts of South Texas. Other representatives from General Motors, Citgo, AARP, AEP, Texas A& M and the NAACP are expected to attend.