Military Order of the Purple Heart

Texas Capital Chapter 1919 Austin, Texas





Patriot, Chapter 1919

 (USMC, Korea) Article March 1997

Called the “Horatio Alger” of education, this is the story of Dr Gonzalo Garza. 

The Austin American ­Statesman did a feature (January 1999) that was titled “The Namesakes For Austin High Schools”, complete with photos (inset) which we have excerpted here. Of course, Travis County is named for Colonel William Barret Travis, and the City of Austin is named for Stephen F. Austin, also known as the “father of  Texas”. Like Travis, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie also died in the Alamo. In that rare company, and centered in the assemblage of pictures, is a photo of Dr. Gonzalo Garza, Phd. and Patriot of Chapter 1919, the only living member of the group. Here is what the American - Statesman had to say about him. 

"GONZALO GARZA (living) - Called the Horatio Alger of education," Garza, the son of migrant farm workers, started his elementary education at age 10 but eventually earned a doctoral degree from the University of Texas. He went on to serve for 10 years as an associate and interim superintendent for the Austin school district and retired in 1992. Gonzalo Garza Independence High School, opened in 1998, is at 1600 Chicon Street." 

However, the newspaper neglected to mention other important facts. Gonzalo Garza is a Marine Corps veteran of WWII and Korea. While serving as a Platoon Sergeant in Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, he was decorated for valor subsequent to saving the life of one of his men on March 1, 1951.  In that action, while under heavy enemy fire, he had crawled forward of the lines to reach a wounded Marine in an outpost position, and carried him to safety. Later, serious wounds sustained on May 29, 1951 ended Gonzalo Garza's active service career.

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