As Veterans Day approaches, the Temple Chamber of Commerce is proud to spotlight the invaluable contributions of veteran-owned businesses in our community. These enterprises stand as a testament to the dedication and commitment of our nation's heroes, significantly enriching our local economy and job market.
Within our Chamber of Commerce, we have 46 veteran-owned businesses as members, each offering diverse goods and services to our community. From mouthwatering barbecue, craft beer, and chimney cleaning to martial arts, voice and piano lessons, and elegant wedding dresses, these local veteran entrepreneurs have transformed their military discipline and determination into successful ventures, leaving a lasting impact on our local economy.
These businesses not only provide essential goods and services but also create employment opportunities for both fellow veterans and civilians. Additionally, they actively participate in charitable initiatives, supporting veterans’ organizations, educational programs, and local community events. Their unwavering dedication to making a positive impact mirrors their sense of duty, both in business and within our community.
By supporting and celebrating these ventures, we not only honor their service to our country but also express our deep gratitude. Veterans Day and every day, it is crucial to recognize and support the men and women who have served in our armed forces and continue to serve our community through their entrepreneurial spirit. As a Chamber of Commerce, we take immense pride in saluting these remarkable individuals and their businesses, showcasing our heartfelt appreciation for their contributions to our community's growth and prosperity.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce proudly hosted the 39th annual Military & First Responder Salute to Service, presented by H-E-B, on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at the Mayborn Convention Center in Temple.
The event brought together 650 business and community members, active-duty soldiers from Temple’s Central Texas Military Partners at Fort Cavazos, veterans, and members of local veterans’ organizations, including American Legion Post #133 and VFW Post #1820.
In a new initiative starting in 2020, the Chamber also extended the invitation to First Responders, recognizing the invaluable contributions of local law enforcement, fire and rescue teams, EMS, and medical professionals.
Bell County First Responders led a procession of a dozen veterans from the William R. Courtney State Veterans Home to the Mayborn Convention Center. They traveled north on Third Street from the Central Texas Veterans Health Care Campus to the Mayborn.
Temple ISD students from Jefferson Elementary and Lamar Middle School greeted the procession by waving American flags. The veterans who participated are residents of the State Veterans Home and include a World War II Veteran, Purple Heart Recipients, Bronze Star and Silver Star Recipients.
The luncheon featured musical performances by the 1st Cavalry Division Band and the Temple High School Polyfoniks. There was special recognition of two local Vietnam Veterans, where they received their Congressional Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Lapel Pins, and an inspiring keynote speech by Gen. (Ret.) Paul Funk II, uniting the business community in honoring and expressing gratitude to those who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation and the community.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Staff extend appreciation to all attendees, volunteers, and sponsors for their support, making this event a heartfelt tribute to our military personnel, veterans, and first responders.