Weslaco ISD’s Mario Ybarra Elementary receiving a huge honor. The school is selected by the Military Order of the Purple Heart to receive a Purple Heart School designation.
“To us it’s a big honor. It’s a huge recognition, our students are excited. They are aware of the meaning behind it.” said Prinicipal Linda Hernandez.
The school is named after Private First Class Mario Ybarra, a Weslaco High School graduate, who joined the U.S. Marines Corps in 1961. In March of 1966, while on deployement in Vietnam during a battle, Ybarra paid the ultimate sacrafice leaving behind a wife and a son he would never meet.
“My father is one of the countless men and women who did not make it back from Vietnam.” said Mario Ybarra Jr.
The Purple Heart award was created back in 1782 by George Washington. It recognizes wounded veterans or those who have paid the ultimate sacrafice. Ybarra’s son says his father’s legacy represents a time when there was disharmony in the country and veterans coming back from the war were mistreated.
“I ask our community to acknowledge our veterans all veterans take a minute to thank them for their service and understand that they have given so much.” said Ybarra.