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Burt Cabañas and a Group of Houston Area Marines Honor Fellow Marines
with Monument in The Woodlands, Texas; Only Marines Medal
of Honor Memorial in the State
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, June 2007 … Burt Cabañas, founder, chairman and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International, gathered with a group of Houston area Marines recently to dedicate a monument honoring Marine Medal of Honor recipients who were born or enlisted in Texas.  This is the first monument of its kind in Texas.

With their service in the Marine Corps as a common bond and after learning no such memorial existed in Texas, Burt Cabañas and fellow former Marines Tom Early, Jim O’Connor and Bill Leigh conceived the idea for the monument.  They quickly began fundraising initiatives and located a site.

“These are the bravest of the brave,” said Mr. Cabañas.  “They went above and beyond the call of duty in service to the country, many giving their lives in the process.  This monument recognizes their dedication and sacrifice.”

Designed by sculptor J. David Nunneley, the 10-foot high memorial rests on a square base, dominated by a rectangular black granite block with each Marine’s name, rank, age and battle etched in gold lettering.  The right and left sides incorporate 18” bronze medallions of the Seal of the State of Texas as well as the Eagle, Globe and Anchor symbol of the Marine Corps.  The monument is topped with a large Bronze Marine Eagle, Globe and Anchor symbol.  All four sides at the top of its base have a bronze replica of the Medal of Honor.

The memorial includes the names of five Texas Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, five from the Korean War and seven from the Vietnam War.  With the exception of Hospitalman John Edward Kilmer from Houston, all were Marines.  Texas cities and towns represented by these heroes include San Antonio (2), Claude, Ennis, Rio Grande City, El Paso (2), Indian Gap, Waco, Fort Worth, Houston (2), Abilene, Amarillo, Edinburg, Corpus Christi and Nacogdoches.  All of these cities were encouraged to participate in the dedication, as well as to engage in a cooperative effort to honor their Marines locally.

L to Right: Tom Early (former Marine), Wesley Fox
(Metal of Honor recipient), Burt Cabañas
(former Marine).
The Texas Marines Medal of Honor Fund, a 501 © 3 Organization, was established to assist in fundraising initiatives for the Medal of Honor Monument project. The Mission Statement of the Fund directs that any monies exceeding the cost of the project will go toward the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and other Marine based organizations, including the Marine Corps League.  For more information, visit

Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers, hotels and condominium resorts both domestically and internationally.  For locations of Benchmark Hospitality properties and for additional information, visit Benchmark's Website at



Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax


Also See: Burt Cabañas; From Immigrant & Lifeguard to Founder, Chairman, CEO of Benchmark Hospitality / October 2001
Burt Cabañas, Chairman & CEO of Benchmark Hospitality, Honored with Two Awards from Florida International University / July 2006



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