LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - To honor the sacrifices and service they made for our country, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 113 in Lufkin hosted a special celebration for veterans at the Pines Theater.
Students from Hudson Middle School recognized the different branches of the U.S. Military.
“It’s important because some people don’t get as much recognition as they should, so whenever we do this it helps us recognize different branches and different people in our country,” said student Ayerim Baltazar.
Barbie and Robert Rhode lost their son, a veteran of the U.S. Army. He took his own life in March.
The Rhode’s shared their story about Mission 22, which is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to offering help to veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.
“Us being apart of Mission 22, it’s a way to make our son’s death mean something, to help somebody else and not go through what we do,” said Barbie Rhode.
“Our son was a sergeant in the army and I remember one time he didn’t come home on one of his leaves because he said, ‘Mom, I had a guy that tried to kill himself’ and he sat in the hospital with him all night. So he wanted to help so we felt like we are caring his mission out,” said Robert Rhode.
Robert Rhode said events such as these are important to have in communities to not only honor veterans, but to also help raise awareness on the resources that are available to help those in need.
“And we just want this to get as far out there as possible because we as a community have a responsibility to take care of our veterans because they sign their name on the line to fight for freedom at any cost,” said Robert Rhode.
According to a Department of Veterans Affairs study, each day over 20 veterans take their own lives.