Honoring a supporter of veterans

HARLINGEN — Jose Silva has served local veterans honorably and with great passion for many years.

So strongly has he committed his resources to serving veterans that they honored him with a plaque Tuesday at the monthly meeting of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 121.

“It’s an honor,” said Silva, owner of the local Golden Corral.

“I didn’t know they were going to do that,” he said. “They just asked me to attend their meeting and I was very proud to be in the same room with the veterans there.”

Silva provided the local DAV chapter a place where they could raise donations for a week before Veterans Day.

The chapter raised $4,842.13. Half of those funds will go to the state office. The chapter will use the rest for various functions, said Fred Cavazos, commander of the DAV.

“The funds that are collected normally stay within the chapter and as a result we are able to visit nursing homes,” he said. “We provide all the food and the drinks. We try to do that at least once a quarter for the nursing homes in the Valley.”

The money also pays for the chapter’s administrative costs.

“We also have our picnics that we do for our memberships,” Cavazos said. “Our next picnic will be sometime in March and its open only for our DAV members. Every meeting, we normally have a meal, and the money comes out of that fundraiser.”

Cavazos couldn’t thank Silva enough Tuesday for his years of service to local veterans.

“It is seldom to find an individual in his capacity willing to help the veteran community,” he said to those who attended the meeting. Members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars were also in attendance.

He recalled leaving Golden Corral the last day of the fundraiser.

“As we were leaving Golden Corral, Mr. Silva asked us, ‘Do you want to have another fundraiser? And collect more money for the chapter,’” Cavazos said.

The answer, of course, was an immediate “Yes” to which Silva replied, “I’ll supply everything, just cook the chicken.”

So why is Silva such an avid supporter of veterans?

“I want to say thank you for serving our country and being able to do the things that we’re doing, maintaining the freedoms that we have,” he said. “It’s the least that we can do for those who sacrifice their time and being away from their families and also to recognize those that lost their lives.”

Meanwhile, DAV Chapter 121 is looking for a new home. The chapter has been meeting at VFW Post 2410 on Whalen Road but it’s now looking for a place of its own. And of course Silva has offered to help.

Why he does it

Jose Silva, owner of the Golden Corral in Harlingen, didn’t serve in the military himself. However, his father was a Marine who worked on behalf of local veterans.

“I’ve seen what my father was doing in DAV and some of the struggles they had trying to help some of their comrades and getting some clinics open,” he said. “It’s more like I’m continuing what my father was doing, pretty much. But, not so much advocating through political means but doing what I can to help the local chapter here and supporting them in every way that we can.”