HOUSTON – Memorial Day was somber one for many military families across Texas.
Robert Guereca spent the holiday honoring and remembering his brave brother, Jose, who sacrificed everything while serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army. The 24-year-old had returned home to Houston after his first tour in Iraq. Robert said his brother went back because he wanted to finish the job.
“He said he was going to sign up again, and I was like wow. I was proud of him. But then when he went for the second tour, that’s when it happened,” said Guereca.
The father of four died on Nov. 30, 2004. Sgt. Guereca was buried at the Houston National Ceremony. Mayor Sylvester Turner laid a Rotary Club of Houston wreath Monday morning for fallen service members. Mayor Turner said Memorial Day was about honoring their courage and sacrifice.
“The heroes buried here and every veteran cemetery in the nation, they did their part,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “It is the duty of the rest of us, it’s the duty of the government and the city of Houston to do our part.”
U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee organized a Memorial Day event in the Heights. Although the congresswoman could not physically be there since she was in Tulsa, OK for a separate observance, she still made her impact in Houston.
Fallen soldiers were also honored at Sugar Land Memorial Park with a 21-gun salute, flyover, and ceremony.
Rex Skovan attended with his family and called the day emotional. Skovan said he was thinking of his father and uncles who have served in WWII and the Korean War and have since passed on.
“They saw things, witnessed things, lived through things they didn’t want to share, but instead try to put it behind them,” Skovan said.