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.