CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Veterans Band of Corpus Christi performed as they always do during the City's Memorial Day ceremony at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.
Ram Chavez is the founder of the organization and is also a Vietnam veteran. He said, "Memorial Day for me is every day, because being a combat medic, I have friends who died on December 6. These were warriors that I was with February and January during the Tet Offensive."
Chavez was an U.S. Army combat medic in Vietnam and experienced a lot of death and destruction. On this day, he remembers those fellow soldiers and friends like Paul Alaniz Jr., a U.S. Marine who was killed in action in Vietnam back in 1968.
Alaniz was also a musician in Chavez's band back in Corpus Christi.
"I knew him in high school. He played with my band, Ram and The Impalas. When I left he was still playing with my band, and once I left he followed me and joined the Marines, and followed me," Chavez said. "And I was in Vietnam when he got killed."
You can find out more online about Paul Alaniz Jr. and those other heroes from Nueces County who have died in service to this country. There is a website called HonorStates.org where you can search by name or even county. You can also find information on WWI- and WWII-era casualties.
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