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Community celebrates 1st year since 1st Hispanic four-star general Richard E. Cavazos was honored with renamed U.S. Army post

By Indira Zaldivar & Edward Saenz

The community celebrated the first anniversary since the Fort Hood army post in Texas was renamed to honor the U.S. Army’s first Hispanic four-star general Richard Edward Cavazos.

Numerous local elected officials, veterans, and advocates spoke on the decorated Korean and Vietnam wars vet’s legacy during the remembrance ceremony at the American Legion Harrisburg Post 472 in Magnolia Park in Houston, Texas on Wednesday.

“General Cavazos, he was a distinguished servant and an exemplary leader,” said Texas Rep. Christina Morales during the speech. 

Cavazos was born in Kingsville, Texas. A son of Mexican American cattle ranch farmers, Cavazos followed in his World War I veteran father’s footsteps after his college football career ended and after graduating with distinction with a degree in geology from Texas Tech University. 

In his 33 years of distinguished service in the military, Cavazos leadership earned him multiple service medals including not one, but two Distinguished Service Crosses (the second-highest military award), a Silver Star, five Bronze Stars and a Purple heart. 

“He led with courage but also broke barriers for countless others,” Morales added.

“General Cavazos was more than a military leader, he was a community leader.”

“His commitment to serve continued well beyond his retirement advocating for veterans affairs and contributing to the empowerment of our youth through educational programs.” 

Cavazos passed away in 2017 after complications from Alzheimer’s. But in his 88 years of life, he impacted many others, and his legacy lives on. 

For retired Texas Army National Guard major general Rick Noriega, the renamed Fort Cavazos, amplifies Cavazos’ legacy and serves as a “springboard to see how much more work” the community has to do locally to recognize local heroes. 

“The community has come together to recognize that high honor and also to build on the momentum of the naming and recognizing of Latino, not just military, but other heroes throughout our community,” Norriega told Que Onda Magazine upon conclusion of the remembrance ceremony. 

“We come together to look for opportunities to acknowledge and name other significant items throughout our community be they, streets, or buildings, or bridges, or parks so that our children understand the shoulders on what we stand on and continue and share the legacy and the rich history of all those who have done so much for us throughout the community.”

Que Onda Magazine’s publisher Gabriel Esparza also presented Lefty Cavazos, one of the war hero’s descendants in attendance, with a recognition in honor of his uncle’s legacy in the same American Legion that General Cavazos would visit. 

“He brought things to the army that weren’t there,” Lefty recalled of his uncle’s time as coronel in Kansas, “enchiladas.” 

Que Onda Magazine was a proud official media sponsor of the first-year anniversary of Fort General Richard E. Cavazos.