HARLINGEN, RGV – Rio Grande Valley veterans finally got to meet the head of the VA on Monday when cabinet secretary Robert McDonald visited Harlingen and McAllen.
Valley veterans’ leaders have been pressing for such a meeting for many years.
The visit was organized by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who accompanied McDonald on visits to the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Harlingen, the UT-Rio Grande Valley Regional Academic Health Center, the McAllen Veterans War Memorial, and the McAllen Convention Center.
Also present throughout the trip were U.S. Reps. Rubén Hinojosa, Henry Cuellar, Blake Farenthold and Filemon Vela. Gov. Greg Abbott participated in one roundtable meeting with private stakeholders and elected officials and another with Valley veterans. He also participated in a news conference. UT-RGV President Guy Bailey also participated in these three events, all of which were held in Harlingen. State Rep. Terry Canales participated in the roundtable with private stateholders and elected officials in Harlingen, as did Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell and Mexico’s consul in Brownsville, Quilantán Arenas.
State Sen. Juan Hinojosa participated in the event at the McAllen Veterans War Memorial, as did retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. A luncheon at the McAllen Convention Center was hosted by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and attended by, among others, Sanchez, who moderated a panel discussion with McDonald and Cornyn, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia.
The Rio Grande Guardian will have stories about McDonald’s visit in later editions.