The Texas Military Honors Team is hosting a meet ‘n’ greet fundraiser to raise money to outfit local military veterans that participate in military funerals of deceased veterans.
The fundraiser will be held on Thursday evening, Feb. 27, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica Center, 700 Jefferson St., Beaumont. The public is invited to attend.
Tickets are available for $50 each; veterans’ tickets are $35 each. Both may be purchased by calling (409) 549-1210. A variety of local eateries will provide a buffet-style meal for the evening. A silent auction will take place during the event, and entertainment will be provided. Joe Tortorice Jr., a United States Air Force veteran, and president and CEO of Jason’s Deli, will speak at the fundraiser.
The Texas Military Honors Team mission is to participate in military funerals by posting colors, offering a rifle salute for deceased veterans as well as performing Taps in honor of the veteran. The group does not charge for this service, which may be requested through the funeral home handling the interment.
Texas Military Honors Team President Ken Cavaretta said while veterans are entitled to a military funeral, the armed forces of the military are not able to provide the service to all veterans. That is where the honors team steps in.
“It’s wonderful to see the family’s reaction to what we do,” said Cavaretta. “A funeral is a solemn event, and they are very grateful to see their loved one honored. It really gives closure to a family.”
When a request is made to the funeral home, Texas Military Honors Team members volunteer their time and effort to see that each veteran receives the honors they deserve for his or her service to this country. Members dress in full military uniform, provide graveside services, rifle salutes and Taps, if possible. They also provide a color guard for special events, visit fellow veterans in nursing homes and talk to schoolchildren on the importance of honoring our flag and our veterans. Neither team members nor board members receive any compensation.
“They do this out of love for their country and the service men and women who have given so much to keep our country free,” a press release from the group states. “Working off of donations only, your financial assistance of any amount is greatly appreciated and will ensure our ability to continue these services.”
Cavaretta said the donations from the fundraiser go to outfitting the volunteers.
“It costs between $700 and $800 to outfit one person,” he asserted.
If funds are available after the group purchases uniforms, Cavaretta said the money goes to veterans in need.
“If we have additional cash, we do what we can to help. We gave $500 to a veteran whose house burned down. Our goal is to have enough funds to give veterans what they need. That’s why this fundraiser is so important.”
Cavaretta said because of the demand, his group is seeking volunteers.
“We are currently running with 16 uniformed veterans, but that is not enough to keep up with the extremely high demand,” he explained. “We do a lot, and we want to do more.”
Cavaretta said the community has been supportive of his relatively new organization, incorporated in 2012 and formed in 2013. He said the Valero volunteer group is one entity that has been very helpful to the honors team.
“They have helped us tremendously in getting going, and we participate in their yearly ceremony that honors veterans,” he said.
Cavaretta invites the community to continue supporting Texas Military Honors Team and local veterans by participating in the Feb 27 fundraiser. Anyone who wishes to attend should RSVP by Feb. 21. Contact Pam Vincent, at (409) 549-1210 or (409) 735-2930 for more information about this event. Call (409) 234-0058 for information about the Texas Military Honors Team and to learn how to become a volunteer.