Central Texas veterans are honored after 20 years of service in the Iraq War

ELM MOTT, Texas (KWTX) – VFW Post 2148 welcomed Central Texas veterans who served in the Iraq War to special service at the post as the war approaches a critical stage.

March 20, 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The war ended on December 15, 2011. About three million American soldiers served in the war.

The event at the VFW Post to honor several veterans who served in the Iraq War included a standing ovation. At the end of the ceremony, the bugle sounds to honor those who have served and are no longer with us.

“Many of our veterans here from central Texas who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, they didn’t just do it once, they did it their entire career,” said veteran Rolando Hernandez.

Hernandez gave the keynote address and discussed his experience serving with the Marine Corps during the Iraq War.

“A lot of the freedoms we have in the U.S. we take for granted, but I’m proud of what we’ve done there,” he said.

Hernandez brought with him a collection of memorabilia from the war, such as flags and currency, to show the audience. These items serve as a memory that he will never forget.

“Sometimes there are things that come up on TV or other places where history comes up and it’s like, ‘hey I was there,'” Hernandez said.

State Representative Doc Anderson presented the post with a Texas flag that had flown in the state capitol.

“It’s important for the families and the young people who are here to understand what these veterans have been through,” said Rep. Anderson.

Bill Mohan, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, said there are lessons to be learned from the Iraq war.

“If we don’t pay attention and learn from our mistakes and how to get out of the war, we can do it again,” he said.

The post has decided to continue its annual Iraq War memorial service.

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