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Bryan veteran recognized for service 30 years after her passing

“We’re still going to honor her every day and not let her be forgotten”
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 7:30 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - When a veteran hero passes away, the family holds onto that burden for the rest of their lives. For a Bryan family, their loved one’s legacy is finally being recognized decades later.

“She will never be forgotten and it touches us knowing other people now know her,” said Rose Garcia, the veteran’s sister.

Private First Class solider Helen Flores served in the United states Army in the 1980′s, following in her father’s footsteps and setting the tone for the rest of the Flores family.

Flores died in 1988, leaving behind 12 siblings and three kids.

“She set a good example for us, even for our other sister. It gave her the opportunity to want to join the military as well, that women can do this,” Garcia said.

But this honor is long overdue.

“I didn’t really remember her funeral or things like that, so I was happy they did this now,” said Helen’s youngest daughter, Esther Flores.

Esther was just four years-old when Helen died. Five other family members followed in Helen’s footsteps, enlisting into the military, too.

“They fought for their country and we have so many family members that they saw that my dad went to the army, and my mom and they want to follow in their footsteps,” Esther said. “I admire them for that.”

The veteran community is strong within the Brazos Valley. Garcia met an American Legion Auxiliary member earlier this year, and got connected with other veterans to finally properly honor her sister.

Wreaths Across America presented the VA Bronze Medallion to the Flores family in recognition of Helen’s service.

“It’s not just December with the wreaths or as we expanded to do the flags on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day. It’s to find a way to make a difference,” said Ellen Fuller with Wreaths Across America.

Though Esther’s son, Elijah, may never know his grandmother, the family can rest knowing now her legacy will live on.

“Helen’s grandchildren will be able to see the flag that was presented and know who their grandmother was. We’re still going to honor her every day and not let her be forgotten,” Garcia said.

If you know a veteran who was honorably discharged that needs to be recognized, email waabrazosvalley@gmail.com for more information.

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