Gold Star families, veterans honored in Lamesa ahead of Memorial Day

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the residents of Lamesa are honoring American soldiers killed in the line of duty.

Gold Star families who lost service members to war received medals to symbolize the ultimate sacrifice. The family members of those American heroes were brought to the forefront on Thursday.

“It wasn’t just their family member who died on the battlefield,” Benny Guerrero, Commander of the Lubbock VFW said. “They have a hole in their heart and it’s our job to ensure that we try to mend that hole in their heart and tell their story.”

For some, those stories have become much bigger, as millions of lives have been affected by the mettle of their children.

“Your raised your son and daughter to love their neighbor. Your raised your son and daughter to love their country,” Guerrero said. “You taught your son and daughter to go above and beyond and that’s all it takes to be a great hero.”

Those lessons became lifestyles for the men and women who fought in our stead, preserving our right to live freely.

“We mourn their loss, but we celebrate their lives,” Guerrero said. “Because there’s over a million veterans, a million warriors, who lost their lives protecting or freedoms. Over a million. We’re free because of them, and because of their families who still carry the weight of the call and the loss.”

“They take every breath, they don’t take it for granted,” Guerrero said. “They take every hug not for granted. It means something for them because they know what they don’t have.”

In addition to honoring those families that lost someone in the line of duty, there was also time taken to honor one of Lamesa’s own, Staff Sergeant George Keathley, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his fight in World War II

“Staff Sergeant Keathley answered the call,” Guerrero said. “His leaders had been killed in action, and he stood up and he led his men to victory.”

One of his family members says they will continue to keep his legacy alive.

“He took charge of the two platoons and through heroic efforts of his he was mortally wounded and was given the Congressional Medal of honor,” Ronnie Seaton said. “So we really try to keep their memories alive.”

It is a way to memorialize the past to help shape the future.

“So that the youth know,” Guerrero said. “If their time ever comes, that their community will continue to honor them even long after their gone.”

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