LUBBOCK, Texas – Three monuments of courage were unveiled Friday morning at Henry Huneke Park to honor Medal of Honor recipients, Gold Star families and Purple Heart recipients.
Dozens of families, organizations and community leaders showed up for the special ceremony.
Benny Guerrero, Marine Corps veteran and commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the project was a couple of years in the making, which included the help of many organizations and some fundraising. He said the monuments serve to honor and answer four questions.
“One, what is a Purple Heart recipient? Two, what is a Medal of Honor recipient? Three, what is a Gold Star family?,” he said. “One of the most important questions that it answers and addresses is, what is sacrifice?”
A Gold Star Family is the family of a veteran who died while serving in a time of conflict. A Purple Heart recipient is a veteran who has been wounded or killed in battle. Medal of Honor recipients are those who have fallen and are recognized for their extraordinary acts of valor.
Guerrero also said the Gold Star monument is positioned in between the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart monuments to serve as a symbolic protection for Gold Star veterans.
“It’s being protected by the Medal of Honor recipient. He’s probably the most courageous, vicious person who you would want to fight in battle,” he said. “The other one is the Purple Heart recipient who is not afraid to shed blood for our freedoms.”
Joe Caballero and his family attended the event to honor his sister Staff Sargent Virginia Caballero. He said he remembers his sister as a strong woman.
“I honestly knew that she would outdo all the men,” he said. “I never had a doubt in my mind that she would soar to the top of her field. She always had a passion for serving her country, she was always active [and] she found her calling in serving her country.”
Guerrero said he’s grateful that Lubbock values those who serve and have served.
“I think for a community to remember the sacrifice and honor the fallen is so important to our way of life it says a lot about the city and the community’s character,” he said.