Local Vietnam Veteran shares his story

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ODESSA, Tx (KOSA) - On Monday, thousands of U.S. Military members will be honored and remembered during Veteran’s Day.

Alvarez reminds people in the Permian Basin to appreciate service members for their part in protecting our freedom.

Guadalupe Alvarez is from Odessa and served in both the United States Marine Corps and the Army Reserves.

He said his time in Vietnam was tough but helped shape him into the father, husband and friend he is today.

“Just being out of county, a change in the environment, a change in of course, you are in a war zone. You are in a place where you live or die. You have to be watching out for yourselves,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez served in the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1970, a tour he describes as challenging.

He said the hardest part of the war was not on the battlefield but having to leave behind his new bride and family to serve our country.

“They would box your civilian clothes and they would mail it back to our families. My wife and my mom were really tore up when they received my clothing,” said Alvarez.

Alvarez and his wife got married on December 23rd of 1968 and just 7 days later, Alvarez got his orders to report to San Diego for training.

He wants West Texans to take the time to get to know local military service members because he said you never know what they are holding in.

“Normal people who have never joined the military or have been in the military, I do not think they know the hardships, the trouble. Leaving your family behind, leaving your kids,” said Alvarez.

One message Alvarez has for current and active duty military members, is to stay strong, even when it’s hard.

Alvarez reminds people in the Permian Basin to appreciate service members for their part in protecting our freedom.

“To give it all they got and continue and finish. You know in the years to come, I would say you would be a better person,” said Alvarez.