This week marks the 43rd anniversary of the death of Jose B. Tijerina from McAllen, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War.  This Texas hero gave his life for freedom, and his sacrifice should never be forgotten. On the anniversary of Tijerina’s death, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Texas Grassroots Campaign to Build the Education Center remember Tijerina and honor this hero.

The VVMF has issued a call for photographs for the 58,267 names on The Wall, of which 3,416 are from Texas. The VVMF asks Tijerina’s friends and family members still residing in McAllen for a photo of Tijerina and any remembrances they wish to share. His photo will be displayed in the planned Education Center, which will honor Tijerina and share his story beyond his name on the Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Jay Kimbrough, Texas Coordinator for the VVMF and a Vietnam veteran said, “Tijerina and the others on The Wall are the ones we need to honor and remember. They gave everything for us and we must do our part to tell their stories.”

Several Texans are already contributing to the cause to remember our heroes and build the Education Center, including Texan Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs. Holt has pledged a matching contribution for every dollar given from Texans to build the Center – up to $1 million. To make the Education Center a reality, the VVMF reaches out to the people of McAllen.

Tijerina indicated McAllen as his home of record, and the VVMF asks anyone who has a photo or a remembrance of Tijerina to please share it with the VVMF. 

To submit a photograph online:

1.      Have a scanned copy of the photo saved on your computer.

2.      Go to www.vvmf.org/thewall.

3.      Search for Tijerina.

4.      Once you locate the individual’s profile, click on “post a remembrance.”

5.      Fill out the information requested and select “Attach an Image from my computer” to upload the photo.

You can also contact the VVMF directly for assistance: Martin Kobylarczyk, call (202) 393-0090, e-mail mkobylarczyk@vvmf.org. You may also contact the Texas Grassroots Coordinator, Cassie Ladd for assistance at cladd@vvmf.org.

“Our grassroots campaign focuses in on each of the 3,416 and telling their stories,” Kimbrough said.  “Texans are known for honoring our military service members and it’s our duty to remember Jose B Tijerina and make sure that our country never forgets his story.”

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Authorized by Congress, its most recent initiative is building The Education Center at The Wall, an underground facility near the Memorial that is designed to add faces to all the names on the Wall and tell the stories of those who served. Other Memorial Fund initiatives include educational programs for students and teachers, a traveling Wall replica that honors our nation's veterans and a humanitarian and mine-action program in Vietnam.

To search The Virtual Wall to see the information the VVMF has for all 58,267 heroes, please go to www.vvmf.org/thewall.