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Texas Veterans Parade announced the creation of the Joe Barton – Ron Wright Congressional Trophy to be awarded annually to a government official who has demonstrated love for veterans and done the most to promote the mission of the organization during the past year.

The mission of the Texas Veterans Parade is to “Honor Texas Veterans of all wars and conflicts and to teach students about Veteran sacrifices, Freedom and Liberty.” The award is named for the two Congressman who served the people of Navarro County and Central Texas for the past 37 years, Congressman Barton and Congressman Wright, who passed away on Feb. 7 this year.

In 1984, Joe Barton was first elected to Congress from the 6th Congressional District of Texas when three-term incumbent Phil Gramm left his seat to successfully run for the U.S. Senate. As a graduate of Texas A&M with a Masters from Purdue University, he served for 34 years and rose to become Chair of the House Energy Committee.

Congressman Joe Barton was a strong supporter of veterans while serving the 6th district. He voted for increased health care benefits and needed reforms in the Veterans Hospitals. Along with Congressman Dick Armey and Martin Frost, he helped locate the veterans’ cemetery in Grand Prairie.

Congressman Ron Wright was elected to Congress in November of 2018, upon the retirement of Congressman Barton. Wright had a special place in his heart for Veterans. One of his proudest achievements was helping to bring the Medal of Honor Museum to Arlington , Texas. He also met regularly with Veterans and Veteran organizations.

"We are blessed that our Congressional district has been served for the past 37 years by two freedom- loving patriots like Ron Wright and Joe Barton,” said Bill McNutt, founder of the Texas Veterans Parade.

How appropriate that our annual award to a government official be named for these two great Texans, men in the spirit of Sam Houston and James Bowie.

The award will be presented at the Palace Theater in Corsicana on Friday night May 14, at a very special event called “An Evening with Woody Williams.”

Williams, a Hero of Iwo Jima, was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman at the White House in 1945.

“Woody Williams will be in Corsicana to dedicate the magnificent 15,000 pound granite Gold Star Monument the next day at noon,” said Joe Hill, retired Navy Captain and Texas Veterans Parade CEO.

A few tickets to the Palace Theater event are still available and can be obtained by calling Hill at 337-496-3615.

An “Evening with Woody Williams” is sponsored by Community National Bank with headquarters in Corsicana.

Williams will talk about his 33 days of fighting on Iwo Jima. Other entertainment will be provided by the full choir of the First Baptist Church singing patriotic songs, and Navarro College History professor and actress Shellie O'Neal,entertaining in honor of her father who fought on Iwo Jima.

The widow of Congressman Wright, Susan, will also attend the event Friday night May 14 in downtown Corsicana.

The Texas Veterans Parade is held annually in Corsicana on Armed Forces Day each May. It also created and sponsor the Medal of Honor Trophy that goes annually to the winner of the Corsicana Tiger - Ennis Lions football game.

The website for the Texas Veterans parade is www.texasveteransparade.org

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