As VFW Post 8621 Auxiliary President Irma Rodriquez placed a black and silver wreath by the monuments outside of the Jim Wells County Courthouse on Friday, she was emotional as she remembered her lost brother.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8621 and its Auxiliary held a Prisoners of War Missing in Action (POW MIA) wreath laying ceremony to honor those who did not make it home.
Since 1944, before Rodriguez was even born, Pvt. Ismael Valverde has been missing. Her sister Nina Bernal, also in the Auxiliary, said Valverde's plane was shot down during WWII and he was never found.
"We always try to remember him," she said with tears in her eyes. "We try to do this on a yearly basis since this monument is the closest thing to a gravesite for him."
Rodriguez said her mother didn't get a grave for him since they didn't receive any of his remains.
"I never knew him, but my mother went to her grave hoping he was going to come back," she said. "We can't go put flowers or anything for him anywhere so we look forward to doing this."
During the ceremony, VFW Commander Juan Navejar said the lost ones sacrifices that were made can not be forgotten.
"They must remain alive in our minds and hearts until we know they have returned home to their loved ones," he said. "We must continue to give moral support of their families who continue to suffer with them."