Goya Foods, America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, commemorated Memorial Day by honoring our country’s courageous veterans and fallen heroes. In dedication to all those who gave their lives to fight and defend our freedom, Goya flew a new 30′ by 60′ American flag on a 125-foot flagpole and constructed a monument at Goya’s Texas location in Brookshire, Texas.
“We owe our lives, our liberty, our prosperity, and our democracy to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve one nation under God,” said Bob Unanue, President and CEO of Goya Foods.
Bob Unanue and Cassandra Garcia, Deputy State Director for US Senator Ted Cruz, honored the family of fallen soldier Marty Gonzalez and six other heroic veterans at a special event held at Goya’s Texas facility on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 2021. Marty’s widow Tawnee and daughter were presented with a United States Flag that flew over The U.S. Capitol. Cassandra Garcia offered the flag along with a certificate recognizing USMC Sergeant Gonzalez‘s service “from a grateful Nation.”
Other honored Veterans included: 101-year old WWII U.S. Navy Officer Veteran Stewart Morris Senior; U.S. Army Corporal Veteran Sue Downes; 93-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant Major Veteran Victor Lopez | Borinqueneers; and USMC; Honorable Commissioner and USMC Veteran Daniel P. Cortez; USMC Veteran Mark ¨Oz¨ Geist; USMC Veteran Bill Balleza. Each was presented with a flag that flew over the United States Capital and framed certificates. The event was attended by dignitaries, local veterans, the Mayor of Brookshire, Goya employees and local community members.
About the Honorees:
- Fallen soldier USMC Sergeant Marty Gonzalez. Marty is a decorated warrior who served several tours of duty and received two bronze stars and three purple hearts. He played a key role in forming the veterans Court in Texas to help other veterans recover from PTSD. He was laid to rest with full military honors. His widow Tawnee Gonzalez and her daughter attended to accept the award. This was the first Memorial Day without him.
- USMC Veteran Mark¨ Oz¨ Geist | Shadow Warrior. A US Marine Corps Veteran, who also was a team member of the Annex Security Team that fought courageously during the attack on Benghazi, Libya and he is credited with saving 25 people.
- 93-year-old U.S. Army Sergeant Major Veteran Borinqueneer Victor Lopez. Lopez was deployed several times during the Korean War and during peacetimes to Vietnam. He has earned various awards and citations for his service to our nation.
- U.S. Army Veteran Corporal Sue Downes. CPL Downes was deployed to Afghanistan and injured when an antitank mine hit her Humvee. She lost both her legs and her best friend in the blast. She is a single mom with 2 children.
- 101-year old WWII U.S. Navy Officer Veteran Stewart Morris Senior. A true American Patriot, businessman and philanthropist, Stewart is a founding father of Houston Baptist University.
- Honorable Commissioner and USMC Veteran Daniel P. Cortez. Cortez served in the Vietnam War. He is one of five generations of veterans in his family to dedicate his life to serving his country.
- USMC Veteran Bill Balleza. Bill is a former local Houston NBC affiliate anchor with 50 years of an impressive career. Prior to his broadcasting career he served three years in the Marine Corps including 13 months in Vietnam where he was positioned as a scout/sniper.