from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121
July 28, 2006

Statement from Senator Judith Zaffirini Regarding Operation Lonestar 2006

(Rio Grande City) - "It is my pleasure to welcome the outstanding partnership formed by state health service officials and Texas Military Service personnel that works each year to bring Operation Lonestar to South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. For the last seven years, Operation Lonestar has provided free health services including basic medical and dental treatments for thousands of children and families living in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.

Volunteers from throughout the country will travel to Rio Grande City, Roma, Brownsville, La Joya and San Carlos, Texas, over a three-month period starting today and joining specialists from the Health and Human Service Commission, the Texas Army National Guard, the U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Reserves to provide needed services.

In 2001 it was my pleasure to write to the Adjutant General of Texas twice to recommend this project in coordination with the University of Texas Health Science Center-San Antonio. In 2003 the Texas Medical Rangers and, later, Operation Lone Star were born.

This program offers valuable benefits to any and all who are in need of the most rudimentary medical services. It transcends any ordinary definition of charity and is an exceptional demonstration of humanitarian service provided by the collective workings of dedicated individuals. Operation Lonestar truly is a testament of the altruism and care that can be provided to our community from state military officials, especially when national leaders prioritize using the guard to promote health and wellness."

Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, is vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Legislative Budget Board. A 16-year member of the Senate Education Committee and its former vice chair, she represents some of the poorest counties in Texas.

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