Recognition of service: Event to honor Permian Basin veterans

People gather to hear the Easter story Tuesday, April 4, 2023, at Calvary Cross between Odessa and Midland. (Michael Bauer|Odessa American)

Jimmy Braswell will happily tell anyone about the military service of two of his brothers.

Both veterans of the Vietnam War, Braswell, the chaplain with Home Hospice, said one was a combat medic, jumping out of helicopters to help those on the field, being wounded at least five separate times.

The other, Braswell said, served on the front lines, walking through the jungles and having Agent Orange dropped on him as the military used the chemical to control vegetation.

Upon leaving the military, Braswell said both men returned to their lives, affected in their own ways by their service. Still, just coming home was more than some got to experience.

“A lot of soldiers saw hellish things and it affected them when they came home,” Braswell said. “Many were psychologically or physically scarred by the sacrifices they made.”

To honor his brothers and veterans in the Permian Basin, Braswell will be one of three speakers during the Veterans Appreciation Prayer Supper, scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 11, at the Calvary Cross.

The free event is open to all veterans, as well as their one guest. It will be catered for by the MCM Grandé Hotel and FunDome.

Investment Corporation of America CEO John Bushman, a veteran of both the Marines Corp and the United States Army, said he has wanted to host a Veterans Day event at the Calvary Cross, but concerns about parking for a large event put it on hold.

Now with a new fenced-off area, Bushman said he is excited to finally host a dinner for veterans.

“I have always felt much desire to honor those who are protecting me, my family, and all of us as American citizens,” Bushman said. “These men and women have risked their lives because that’s what service people do.”

Area veterans are asked simply to show up. No reservations needed, and Bushman said they are preparing for a large turnout.

“Any veteran that wants to come out with a sincere heart and accept a good meal in an environment for keeping this country safe is welcome,” he said.

Along with Griff Jones of Crossroads Fellowship, and Frank Nastase, Braswell will speak to the crowd on various topics. Erica Lane Garza is scheduled to give a musical performance.

Braswell plans on speaking about security and protection and using his brothers as examples of each. As our veterans get older, he said, it’s important to take time to recognize what they have given up for the country.

“They are, no doubt, a treasure to our nation,” Braswell said.

If you go

  • What: Veterans Appreciation Prayer Supper.
  • When: 5 p.m. Nov. 11.
  • Where: Calvary Cross, State Highway 191 south service road and three miles east of Faudree Road.
  • Cost: Free to veterans and their one guest. The event will be catered by the MCM Grandé Hotel and FunDome.