City Manager Bryan Woods sent this message to city employees Monday night:
We came together last Veterans Day to recognize this organization’s commitment to not only employing veterans but also to how our civilians willingly take on additional duties to allow coworkers to serve their country. That day and the service and support that are at the core of our organization are foremost in my mind as I write this message to you.
Some of you may know that in addition to getting to serve alongside you in this great organization, I’m an officer in the United States Navy Reserve. Late in 2019, I was informed I’d be recalled to active duty to mobilize with my unit. While the dates of my departure and return are fluid, I can tell you that I’ll be leaving in the next few months for training and won’t return until sometime in early 2021. The City Council and the Executive Management Team have been made aware and I can’t say enough about how supportive everyone has been. I’d certainly not have chosen to deploy less than two years after joining you here, but I’m proud to get to serve our community in another way and do the job that I’ve been trained for.
My main goal in sending this email is to make sure you hear this from me prior to it becoming public information and to assure you that we’ll continue to strategically and deliberately transition my duties to the others in the City Manager’s Office before my departure. I truly believe we run this organization as a team and I’m excited to see the outstanding things you’ll accomplish in my absence.
This city and our organization couldn’t be more fortunate than to have the leadership we do, and I’m confident it will shine in the months to come. We’re also in a time of transition with a search for a new fire chief underway, a search for a new police chief beginning soon, and the opportunity to fill the vacant assistant city manager position. I intend for these key personnel to be selected before I leave and that they will add to the leadership capacity we have as an organization. As I’m able, I’ll continue to be engaged with the Council, Deputy City Manager Jeff Capps, Assistant City Manager Jeff Kersten, the CMO, and the rest of the organization to assist in any way I can, even after I’ve left for duty.
In closing, I again thank the Council, the community, and all of you for your support as I prepare for my deployment. I know others will step up to take on additional responsibilities in my absence, and I’m truly grateful for the support this organization and community provides for service members and veterans.
I look forward to pushing towards numerous organizational accomplishments in the next few months and returning to work with you again soon.
One City, One Team.
Bryan C. Woods, City Manager
– Public Communications Office
By Gabby Salazar, Tourism Events Supervisor
While other cities in Texas are known for space exploration, kolaches, and live music, College Station has a well-earned reputation for its enthusiastic support for our nation’s armed forces, especially our veterans.
After all, College Station happens to be home to Texas A&M University, which produces more officers than any institution besides the military academies and maintains a 2,000-member Corps of Cadets. More than 1,400 veterans were enrolled at the university last fall.
That makes College Station a natural venue for a Memorial Day weekend event designed for Texans to pay their respects and honor the servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for our country.
The inaugural Texas Weekend of Remembrance will be May 25-27 (Friday-Sunday) at Veterans Park & Athletic Complex. Our goal is to grow the event into an annual Memorial Day mainstay for military members, veterans, their families and the public to remember the fallen.
The commemoration begins Friday, May 25 with softball and flag football teams dedicating their competition to fallen soldiers. The tournaments are coordinated by Heroes Sports, an organization that supports service members and veterans by providing ways to maintain active lifestyles, bond through teamwork, and become active in their communities.
The weekend officially starts Saturday with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. The schedule includes a motorcade, parachute jump, presentation of colors, rifle salute, and roll call with a ship bell from the USS Kearsarge, which served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez, Jr. (Ret.), commandant of the Corps of Cadets, will provide opening remarks, and Maj. Gen. Paul T. Calvert of Fort Hood will give the keynote speech.
Since good music has a unique way of bringing people together, we’ve invited some outstanding artists to entertain our visitors. Saturday’s opening act (6 p.m.) is the Scooter Brown Band, which will be followed by Joe Nichols and Jamey Johnson. On Sunday beginning at 2:15 p.m., Cody Wayne and Aaron Watson will perform.
Before Sunday’s concerts, join us at 8 a.m. for the kid’s mile fun-run and the 5K run/walk. All proceeds will benefit Brazos Valley Cares for the support of veterans and their families who experience financial hardship. After the races, a free breakfast will be provided by the West End Elixir Company at the American Pavilion. Chaplain Benjamin T. Mayhugh of the U.S. Coast Guard will be the speaker.
Concessions will be available for purchase throughout the weekend, with part of the proceeds donated to the Texas A&M University Veterans Resource & Support Center to assist with scholarships. No outside food, drinks or pets are allowed, but you may bring plastic water bottles. Ample parking is available on-site.
For a complete schedule of events and other information, go to cstx.gov/TWR or call 979-764-3486.
Tourism Events Supervisor Gabby Salazar is in her third year with the City of College Station. Before joining the city staff, she was the night manager at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena. A product of A&M’s sports management program, Gabby earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014 and is working toward her master’s. A native of Alamo, she was also a member of the Aggies’ nationally-ranked track and cross country teams.
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By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager
Bryan-College Station has always prided itself on its patriotism, thanks in no small part to the role military service and sacrifice has played in Texas A&M’s rich history. Since so many of our residents have served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces, our community reserves a special reverence for Veterans Day.
That’s why we’re especially proud to be ranked No. 4 on USAA’s 2015 list of the best places in America for veterans to get an education. Tuscaloosa, Ala., was ranked No. 1 while No. 6 Killeen was the only other Texas city to rank among the top 10.
By Colin Killian, Communications/Marketing Specialist
The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (5:30 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings. Here are five items to watch:
- Aggieland Humane Society: The council will hear a workshop report about the Aggieland Humane Society. The council will consider the city’s annual payment of $205,000 in sheltering fees as part of the consent agenda.
- Veterans Memorial Funding: The council will consider the budget for the Memorial for all Veterans of the Brazos Valley, along with a $15,000 funding agreement for FY15.
- BVGCD Board Appointment: The council will consider appointing Bill Harris to the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District, subject to approval by the Brazos Count Commissioners Court.
- Street Rehabilitation Projects: The council will consider contracts with Binkley & Barfield for professional services related to the Graham Road ($144,820) and Munson Avenue ($377,470) rehabilitation projects.
- Oil & Gas Permit: After a public hearing, the council will consider approving an oil and gas operations permit to Halcon Operating Company for a second well on a 71-acre tract north of the Holleman Drive South-Cain Road intersection. The council approved the first well on Oct. 9.
You probably know the City of College Station has a lot of its history preserved in the form of documents, maps and photos. But it may surprise you that we’ve also preserved our history by recording the stories of the people who lived it.
The city’s online historic database, Project HOLD, has a large collection of stories gathered through interviews with people who remember the city’s early days. The oral history collection focuses on the stories of our community’s veterans.