Story Photos by: SGM (R) Paulette Nash
“Wounded Marine Warrior SGT Vincent Rios and Diamond Hill-Jarvis Army JROTC Cadets Collaborated on Hosting a Veterans Day Celebration in Honor of Teachers and Parents Who Served”
On November 9, 2023, JROTC Cadets from 5th Brigade were honored to work with Marine Sergeant Vincent Rios, a 1964 graduate of Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School (DHJ) and wounded Vietnam veteran at a veteran’s recognition ceremony at Cesar Chavez Elementary in Ft Worth, Texas.
JROTC Cadets and the elementary students were honored by the presence of a highly decorated combat veteran who spoke to them about his military service and the importance of giving back to society. According to the Veterans Administration, approximately 2.7 million men and women served during the period of the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1975. One of these Veterans is Marine Corps, Sgt Rios. Sgt Rios shipped out to Vietnam in support of the war effort shortly after graduating high school. During the Vietnam War, Sgt Rios lost both of his legs at the hip, his right arm, and parts of his left hand. Sgt Rios was awarded with three Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars with “V” devices for heroic acts and meritorious service for his service in Vietnam. Despite these incapacitating injuries, Sgt Rios went on to earn a BA in Psychology, an MA in Interdisciplinary social science, and an MA in Public Administration. He went on to serve as the Assistant Regional Administrator, Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Service Regions IX and X from 1989 until his retirement in July 2001. In this capacity, he helped track regional veterans programs and how federal dollars were spent by states for veterans programs.
In November 2020, JROTC Cadets of Diamond Hill-Jarvis High hosted the first-ever Veterans Day celebration on behalf of the principal of Cesar Chavez Elementary and has since then supported this event. JROTC Cadets presented the colors and ushered the event. Students of Cesar Chavez Elementary Choir serenaded the veterans with an armed forces medley, followed by Sgt Rios giving a touching speech about sacrifice, love of country, and the importance of education. The Veterans Day observation also took time to recognize teachers, staff, and parents who served in the military. This event was attended by approximately 275 students, 25 parents, 30 teachers, staff, visitors, eight JROTC Cadets, and one JROTC Instructor.