Thank you Senator Van de Putte for that introduction, and for all the hard work you put in for the people of San Antonio and Texas.
It's an honor to be here today with the family and friends of Corporal Roy Cisneros, as well as Secretary Henry Cisneros, [LULAC] Chairman [Henry] Rodriguez, and everyone who has drawn inspiration from Roy's story of courage and sacrifice.
Here in San Antonio, Roy Cisneros is already a name associated with hometown pride, an example of the type of dedication and commitment that makes this community, our state, and our nation a truly special place to live.
It's also a name that will live on for generations to come, in the hearts and memories of the children who now attend Roy Cisneros Elementary School.
We honor Corporal Cisneros today because he represents the best that America has to offer, an individual who demonstrated the greatest love imaginable for his countr and for his fellow Marines.
Under the worst imaginable circumstances, up against impossible odds, Roy Cisneros never wavered and never hesitated in his duty.
While many years have passed since that fateful day in 1968, the spirit that defined his life lives on, and can still be found in the hearts of heroic men and women in places across the globe facing danger every day for love of country.
Corporal Cisneros and his fellow Vietnam Vets fought in a very difficult era when strife at home made the challenges they faced on the battlefield even harder to overcome.
All too often, Vietnam veterans returned home to disinterest, even scorn, from a public in turmoil about the mission in Vietnam.
But that makes the actions of our troops no less valorous.
Because they answered the call of their country...and did their duty.
Thankfully, we've grown a little wiser as a nation, and now better understand the obligation we have to honor those who fought, and died, for our freedom.
We owe it to Corporal Cisneros, and the other 58,259 souls whose names are carved into stone at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to honor the spirit that made them exceptional.
We owe it to those who are currently fighting for our country to give them every resource to help them succeed.
And we owe it to those coming home to make sure we expend every resource necessary to help them heal as necessary, reconnect with family and friends, and live productive, fulfilling lives.
In Texas, we've attempted to repay the debts we owe our veterans.
This year, I've been proud to sign into law measures to extend the property tax exemption for fully disabled vets to their surviving spouses.
We passed a bill, authored by Sen. Van De Putte, that will help give college credit to our veterans for the training and experience they earned in the military.
And just this week, I was privileged to announce a new program that will be run by the Texas Veterans Commission: "Housing 4 Texas Heroes", making $3 million in grants available to help Texas veterans build, buy, rehabilitate or rent their homes or possibly renovate them to meet needs created by a service-related disability.
These are attempts to repay a debt that can never be fully repaid because we know without the sacrifices of our nation's veterans, we wouldn't be free.
We understand how blessed we are to have warriors ready to step forward and draw a line between us and those who would do us harm.
We owe it to all those who didn't make it home, to make sure that those who did are free to enjoy the blessings of liberty they have earned with their own valor and sacrifice.
That's an important part of the legacy left behind by our fallen heroes like Corporal Cisneros.
Now, it is my great honor to present to Corporal Roy Cisneros' family with the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor, in memory of an incredibly brave man and a favorite son of San Antonio.
His gallantry inspires us all and reminds us of the true cost of freedom, a freedom that we can never take for granted.