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Special Collections & University Archives: Valley Veterans

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Valley Veterans Research Guide

Valley Veterans Research Guide


The purpose of this research guide is to provide a brief overview of archival and historical resources available at the University Library relating to veterans of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Primary sources include oral history interviews, photographs, manuscripts, and more. The guide also links to secondary sources and published works.

Gallery of Archival & Digital Resources: Valley Veterans

Veterans Day 2023 Poster Exhibit

Annual poster exhibit honoring military service veterans. This year's digital poster exhibit features information about the historic changes in the U.S. armed forces as well as profiles for valley veterans, including Richard E. Cavazos, Dr. Eloisa Tamez, Pedro Cano, Maria Osorio, Ruth M. Abney, Eugene Gutierrez, Angela Burton, Herbert Pike, and Edgar Hernandez.

To learn more about digital resources related to Valley Veterans, including interviews, photos, and more visit the Veterans of War Curated Collection | Special Collections and Archives | University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (

We Salute The Veterans of the Lower Rio Grande Valley: A Special Poster Exhibit Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of Our Veterans and their Families

A poster exhibit to highlight the achievements of Valley Veterans will be on display at the University Library (Brownsville and Edinburg) during National Veterans and Military Families Month, November 1–30, 2022. More details coming soon.

Veterans Day Ceremonies, UTB/TSC Archives - Veterans

The collection, part of the UTB/TSC University Archives - Institutional Advancement Division, contains audio/visual recordings, including videos of past Veterans Day Ceremonies.

Veterans Photographs Collection (2007)

A Salute To Veterans of the Lower Rio Grande Valley 2021

A Salute To Veterans of the Lower Rio Grande Valley 2021

A poster exhibit created for National Veterans and Military Families Month to highlight the achievements of Valley Veterans. Featuring: Americo Paredes, Carlton Chilton Jr., Hector P. Garcia, Jose Mendoza Lopez, Wilma "Dolly" Vinsant Shea, William George Harrell, Kika de la Garza, Felipe A. Champion, Alfredo "Freddy" Gonzalez, Cayetano E. Barrera, James "Nikki" Rowe, Rosemary Mariner, and library books and oral histories pertaining to Rio Grande Valley Veterans.

Eligio (Kika) de la Garza Congressional Papers

Congressman Eligio (Kika) de la Garza, II (1927-2017) enlisted in the U.S. Army at 17, serving during WWII. He later enrolled at the U.S. Army Artillery School and served in the Korean War as a Second Lieutenant with the 37thField Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. After the war, Kika resumed his education at Edinburg Junior College and later earned his law la Garza was elected to the Texas House of Representatives (1952) and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives (1964). In 1976 de la Garza became one of the founding members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Throughout his service in Congress, de la Garza advocated on behalf of South Texans, especially for active service military, veterans and their families.

Rubén Hinojosa Congressional Papers

While not a veteran, Congressman Rubén Hinojosa was a longtime businessman and native of the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He was elected to represent Texas’ 15th Congressional District in November 1996 and served on two House Committees: Education and the Workforce; and Financial Services. He was also Co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus Education Task Force.

Congressman Hinojosa has distinguished himself as an advocate for education, Social Security, health care, agriculture, economic development and infrastructure projects as well as veterans’ issues. Hinojosa was also instrumental in expanding local access to quality health care for South Texas veterans. For the first time, inpatient services (including surgery) are available at approved hospitals in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, eliminating 80% of the need to travel to San Antonio. Hinojosa also worked with Veterans Administration to establish primary care community-based outpatient clinics in the cities of Alice, Beeville, Kingsville and Uvalde. Hinojosa also worked with state legislators to secure a U.S. / State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in South Texas.

Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center - Vietnam War Veterans

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Dr. Charles J. Ellard recorded interviews for the Veterans History Project in 2009, including:

Los del Valle Series: Jose M. Lopez

External Resources: Veterans History

General Information on Veterans


The research guides compiled by UTRGV staff and students are intended to assist patrons who are embarking upon new research endeavors. Our goal is to expand their knowledge of the types of resources available on a given topic, including books, archival materials, and websites. In so doing, our compilers have taken care to include collections, digital items, and resources that may be accessed not only through UTRGV but also via other institutions, repositories, and websites.

We wholeheartedly respect the research interests of others. Therefore, please contact us if you wish to submit a resource for consideration, or if you have a question about or an issue with a specific cited resource.

Books on Valley Veterans from Our Catalog

Maps of Air Force Bases in the Valley

UTRGV Military and Veterans Success Center

UTRGV Military and Veterans Success Center 

The center assists students in certifying education benefits, advocating for services, developing projects to unite the university with our local community, providing counseling services specifically for veterans, and promoting student involvement through the Student Veterans of America National Organization.

Quick Links

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