Thursday, March 31, 2011

Santana F. Munoz, Jr., United States Army Veteran

Santana Munoz was born on the King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas on December 9, 1931 and passed away on March 26, 2011, at the age of 79, in Austin, Texas.

Santana Munoz proudly served his country in the armed forces, beginning in 1951. He was a Corporal in the United States Army, 36th Texas Infantry Division during the Korean War. Later, he was appointed Captain of the Military Police Corps by General Thomas S. Bishop. He then served in the Army National Guard of Texas as a Staff Sergeant. Santana was a member of the VFW Post 8925.

Santana was a third-generation Kineno, born and raised on the King Ranch. The Kinenos - the King’s Men- came into existence in the mid-1850s when Richard King, founder of the King Ranch, went to a small village in Mexico and recruited all of the residents to join him on his ranch as his workers.

“ The 120 men, women, and children moved to the ranch, bringing along their livestock and chickens.

The Kinenos worked from the time they could walk until the day they could walk no more. The men worked as vaqueros, and the women tended to the cooking, cleaning, sewing, mending and child rearing.” ( King Ranch, A Homecoming, by Stephanie Elizondo Griest)

Committal Services were held at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas. When the Munoz family arrived, they were greeted by fifty American flags, blowing in the Texas wind, and the Patriot Guard Riders, who formed a line of American flags around the shelter during the service.

Two of Santana’s grandchildren told of memories of their grandfather. Military honors were rendered by the United States Army Honor Guard. The Army bugler played taps, and two Soldiers carefully folded the American flag that draped the gold coffin into the traditional triangle. It was presented by Staff Sergeant Page to Santana’s dear wife, Rebecca, on the behalf of the President of the United States, the United States Army and a grateful nation in thanks for his many years of dedicated service.

Santana F. Munoz, Jr. was then laid to rest on the plain of the cemetery and the American flag flew at half-staff at the top of the hill in his honor.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, three daughters, one son, three step-sons, one brother, 19 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and a host of other family and friends.

With thanks to the Mission Funeral Home, Austin, Texas for biographical information.

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