Hondo National Bank senior vice president and Uvalde regional president Roy Angermiller, was lauded July 18 by the Quilts of Honor- Texas chapter for his two years of service in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Friends and family kept the presentation secret from Angermiller for 2-3 months – and Angermiller was visibly surprised when he arrived at work.
Angermiller served one year in El Paso in 1968 and one year in Vietnam, completing one tour. He was wounded in combat and received two Purple Heart medals.
When he was the center of attention on Thursday, July 18, Angermiller worked to focus attention on other veterans.
“It is indescribable to be recognized, but so many have served. I want to humbly accept this quilt on behalf of myself and all that have served,” he said. “There were a lot more veterans that did a lot more than I did. It’s not only for me. And it’s not just for Vietnam veterans, but for any veterans that have served this country.”
Echoing that sentiment, Debbie Hayes, president and procurement officer of the Quilts of Honor-Texas chapter, said she wants to continue recognizing World War II and Vietnam War veterans.
As of July 18, the chapter had presented 1,420 quilts to as many veterans.
“We want to honor and bring comfort to veterans, especially those that are Purple Heart recipients, suffering from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, the effects of Agent Orange, or who served multiple tours,” Hayes explained.
The chapter has grown since Hayes and a friend started it six years ago; the chapter now includes areas such as Boerne, Devine, Lytle, LaCoste, Pleasanton, Jourdanton, Big Foot and Medina County.
“The bigger we grow, the more people want to help. We have veterans that help and we have 90- and 100-year-old women that help,” she said. “One helper stopped taking anti-depressants because she said, ‘I have purpose again.’ It’s a healing process for those involved and we hope it can be a healing process for veterans, as well.”
Vietnam War veterans have been notoriously under-appreciated.
“Veterans are the backbone of this country; we wouldn’t have the freedoms we still have, were it not for the sacrifices that veterans made,” Hayes said. “But returning Vietnam veterans weren’t appreciated.”
“I’ve always felt like World War II veterans are the backbone of this country. Those were the heroes,” Angermiller added.
Angermiller’s father served in World War II under General George Patton. His father was in combat for 26 months.
Angermiller considers himself lucky despite his injuries.
“I was pretty lucky. I was only there for one year, and I went and came back when many didn’t,” he said.
Angermiller served as a rodeo coach at Southwest Texas Junior College for 38 years. He also competed professionally in the arena for 25 years.
Tim Gilles, president and chief executive officer of Hondo National Bank, said that Angermiller then built the Uvalde branch “on the strength of his personality.”
Gilles originally referred Angermiller to Hayes and then reported information on Angermiller’s service.
“It is well-deserved. Roy earned every bit of it. They [the Texas chapter] know what his record is,” Gilles said. “This quilt is a tribute to Roy.”
After his service in the Vietnam War, the Army tried to re-enlist Angermiller, who politely refused.
“I told them, ‘I think I’m going back to Uvalde,'” he recalled.
Quilts of Honor, a nonprofit organization, was started by Gail Belmont, a Vietnam War-era veteran, in California in 2005.
(The story does not continue beyond this line.)
The of rest this story is restricted to subscribers only.