Bob Allen, Senior Vice-President, Barbers Hill Bank; Mayor Joe Landry, Mayor of Old River-Winfree;  Jane Newsom, grandmother of Scholarship Winner;  Charlie Newsom; grandfather of Scholarship Winner; Randy Oliver, Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Award winner; and Karen Oliver, mother of winner.

Bob Allen, Senior Vice-President, Barbers Hill Bank; Mayor Joe Landry, Mayor of Old River-Winfree; Jane Newsom, grandmother of Scholarship Winner; Charlie Newsom; grandfather of Scholarship Winner; Randy Oliver, Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Award winner; and Karen Oliver, mother of winner.

Old River-Winfree Founders Day, sponsored by the City of Old River-Winfree is proud to announce Randy Oliver as the winner of the Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship Award given to a graduating senior at Barbers Hill High School.  Sponsoring the Run/Walk for the last three years and the 2013 3K/5K Run/Walk is Barbers Hill Bank, a Branch of Anahuac National Bank represented by Bob Allen in the picture.

One of the items required in the Application for this scholarship was an Essay on the Legacy of Pfc Wesley R. Riggs.

 In a “blind reading”, Old River-Winfree Founders Team Members awarded Thomas Randall Oliver (Randy) the 2012 Pfc Wesley R. Riggs Memorial Scholarship.  In a “blind reading”, participants read each essay on Pfc Wesley R. Riggs without knowing the name of the writer.  The final vote was unanimous for Randy Oliver.

Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs, 19, of Beach City, Texas died May 17 in Tikrit, Iraq, from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted position. Riggs was assigned to the Army’s 2d Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.  Pfc. Riggs was known for his bravery, courage, quick smile, and encouragement to his brothers in his Battalion.

Wesley came home to rest at the National Cemetery in Houston, Texas May 25, 2005. At the Mass, Wesley’s family received Wesley’s two commendations — the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  He also received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Army Service Ribbon.  Our Hero was given full military honor funeral. 

Pfc Riggs graduated from Barbers Hill High School in just three years.

Mayor Landry is a veteran of the Vietnam War and Charlie Newsom is a veteran from peace time Germany a few years before the Vietnam War.

On June 7, 2005 Texas Representative Ted Poe recognized and honored Pfc Riggs’ sacrifice before the United States House of Representatives.  Flags were flown at half-mast for this Texas man.  An excerpt of that recognition follows:

Chair: Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Poe) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Rep. Ted Poe [R-TX]: “I don’t do it for the money ….. I don’t do it for the glory ….. Providing for our future is my responsibility ….. I can’t call in sick on Mondays when the weekend has been too strong. I just work straight through the holidays and sometimes all night long. You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door ….. I am solid ….. I am steady ….. I am true down to the core ….. I’m an American soldier.”

Words from Toby Keith’s “American Soldier.”

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in honor of a young American soldier, Private First Class Wesley Robert Riggs, who died serving our Nation in Iraq. Private First Class Riggs, in only 19 years, had exhibited a lifetime of dedication and duty. He was killed during a patrol on May 17, 2005, near Tikrit, Iraq, when a roadside bomb exploded.

He was a native of Baytown/Beach City, Texas. Wesley graduated in 3 years from Barbers Hill High School in 2003. He was active in the Future Farmers of America. To Wesley’s Ag teachers, he was well devoted to the curriculum and is remembered for his skills in Ag Mechanics and Meats Technology. They recall his love of fishing, hunting and anything outdoors.

Before enlisting in the United States Army in 2004, Wesley spent his days like many other young Texans. He enjoyed hanging around with friends and working on cars. He liked four-wheeling and camping. He was also a member of the Houston Olympic weight lifting team.

He attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Mt. Belvieu, Texas. Reverend Andrew Moore, Wesley’s Pastor at Holy Trinity, recalls a dedicated young man that was extremely motivated and driven. He dreamed of a career in law enforcement after his years in the military.

All proceeds from the Old River-Winfree Founders Day 5K Run/Walk benefit the Wounded Warrior Project (90%) and the Memorial Scholarship Fund (10%).

In 1789, President George Washington “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

The Wounded Warrior Project does just that in ministering to the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of our military returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.  PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is among these.

 The 2013 Old River-Winfree Founders Day will be October 12, 2013.

The picture was taken at the Pfc. Wesley R. Riggs Memorial at the Beach City, Texas City Hall and Fire Department Complex.  Picture is courtesy of Loxx Photography of Baytown, Texas.

For more information on Founders Day http:www.orwfoundersday.com.