The Texas State Senate News
AUSTIN - At the State Capitol on Friday, September 19, Texans participated in National POW/MIA Recognition Day by honoring the American prisoners of war and those missing in action. The Texas Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations hosted the event for the first time at the State Capitol. Members of the committee include Senators Jerry Patterson of Houston as Chair, Gregory Luna of San Antonio, J. E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, and Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay.
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is intended to remember and honor the 142,256 prisoners that have been held captive by an enemy and the over 92,000 American servicemen and women still missing in action. These numbers are the result of the past five wars the United States has participated in including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. In a memorial proclamation, Senator Jerry Patterson called the event "an appropriate occasion for all Americans to show their loyal support for these brave men and women who have defended our nation's ideals, security, and safety...".
Included at the ceremony were speeches by Senator Patterson and members of Support POW/MIA Inc., a 21 Gun Salute by the 1st Battalion of the 23rd Marines, a Missing Man Flyover by the Confederate Air Force, and a musical presentation by Austin's Sidney Lanier High School Band.
In other news, two interim committees held organizational meetings at the State Capitol. The Senate Interim Committee on Housing chaired by Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. of Brownsville, adopted committee rules and heard invited testimony. Other members of the committee include Senators Carlos F. Truan, Jeff Wentworth, Rodney Ellis, and Florence Shapiro.
Also meeting on Friday were members of the Sunset Advisory Commission. The Commission is responsible for reviewing the operations of state agencies to make recommendations for their improvements or dissolution based on their findings. Senate members include J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, Chris Harris of Arlington, Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, and Frank L. Madla of San Antonio.