Military veterans were the guests of honor Friday at a ceremony hosted by the Housing Authority of Del Rio.

The ceremony was held at the Casas Del Rio Clubhouse on East Rodriguez Street. Isidro Valdez Fernandez, executive director of the Housing Authority of Del Rio, served as the master of ceremonies.

Recognized during the ceremony were veterans William Allen, Santos Aguillon, Arturo Avila, Charles Elliot, Roverto Martinez, Daniel Patiño, Angie Rodriguez and the late Joshua Ray Stovall.

Fernandez welcomed those attending the event, then introduced the three members of the Del Rio High School JROTC who posted the colors, including Noah Lindsay, Steven Garcia and Jocelyn Hines, and the four members of the Del Rio High School Choir who sang the National Anthem, including Luis Sanchez, Christian Montoya, Deyanira Hernandez and Alexandra Sanchez.

Fernandez said the housing authority wanted to recognize tenants and employees who had served in the military.

Fernandez introduced the guest speaker, Master Sgt. Jesse Davila, who has served for 23 years in the U.S. Air Force.

Davila began by saying Veterans Day is typically observed on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

He said the ideals on which the United States was founded were not granted or defended by media or politicians.

“Liberty and independence, freedom, are purchased, and they are purchased at the cost of blood, in places you don’t want to think of, in deeds you don’t want to imagine,” Davila said.

Davila spoke about native Del Rioan Raymond P. Lozano who was wounded and died on a mission that he completed at the cost of his own life.

“We understand fully that doing our duty may cost us our lives, but the option – not having freedom, not being able to express your ideas, not being able to correct the wrongs of the land with public law – the idea that that cannot happen because we do not stand, is unacceptable,” Davila said.

At the close of his speech, Davila saluted the veterans present.

Fernandez also announced the Housing Authority of Del Rio, through its board of commissioners, has decided to include a veterans’ preference in its application process for housing.

“In that past, we did not have a preference for veterans. We’ve worked together and as of Nov. 1, the preference with the highest points on our application is for veterans,” Fernandez said.

Each of the veterans attending the ceremony were presented with a plaque of appreciation for their service.

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